Home Sizes Get Smaller After Increasing for 30 Years

June 15, 2010 No Comments »

new homes

After nearly three decades, the average size of a newly constructed single-family home got smaller, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The average size peaked at 2,521 square feet in 2007, was flat in 2008, and declined about 100 square feet in 2009.

“We also saw a decline in the size of new homes when the economy lapsed into recession in the early 1980s,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, in a release.

“The decline of the early 1980s turned out to be temporary, but this time the decline is related to phenomena such as an increased share of first-time home buyers, a desire to keep energy costs down, smaller amounts of equity in existing homes to roll into the next home, tighter credit standards and less focus on the investment component of buying a home.”

New homes constructed last year had both fewer bedrooms and bathrooms than in previous years.

The proportion of single-family homes with four bedrooms or more peaked at 39 percent in 2005, and eventually fell to 34 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the proportion of homes with three or more bathrooms fell to 24 percent last year, down from the peak of 28 percent seen in 2007 and 2008.

Builders are also constructing fewer two-story homes, with such properties accounting for just 53 percent of new homes last year, down from 57 percent in 2006.

From 1973 to 2006, homes with two stories or more increased in market share from 23 percent to 57 percent as McMansions became all the rage.

Small is the new black.

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