US Single-Family Homes Continue to Have a Smaller Footprint

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completion by Purpose and Design for Q1 of 2022, with additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), reveals that the median single-family square foot floor plan is now down to 2,310 sq. ft., while the average (mean) square footage for a new single-family home decreased to 2,512 sq. ft.

On a one-year moving average, and since the Great Recession lows, the average size of a new single-family home is now 6.3% higher at 2,537 sq. ft., while the median size is 10% higher at 2,318 sq. ft.

The NAHB analysis notes that home size rose from 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained. Home size declined between 2016 and 2020 as more starter homes were developed.

Going forward, the NAHB expects home size to continue to increase modestly, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes (for work among other purposes) in the post-COVID-19 environment.

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New Single-Family Home Size Trends