The COVID-19 pandemic created a need for more residential space, as homeowners transformed their living areas into home offices, gyms, and other multifunctional flex rooms. As a result, average single-family home size trended higher in 2021, but as interest rates and inflation make home purchases and renovations more expensive, that trend is reversing, the National Association of Home Builders' Eye on Housing reports.
First quarter 2023 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis reveal that median single-family square floor area fell to 2,261 square feet and will continue to decrease as housing affordability remains constrained.
Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of a new single-family home is now 4% higher at 2,486 square feet, while the median size is 7% higher at 2,262 square feet.
Home size rose from 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction lost market share. Home size declined between 2016 and 2020 as more starter homes were developed.
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