New homes are trending smaller

by Emily Marek

Home sizes in the U.S. increased in 2021 amid pandemic-related desire for more space, but according to new data from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), today’s homes are trending much smaller.

The median area for a new single-family home fell to 2,191 square feet in the second quarter — the lowest recorded size since 2010. The average area, meanwhile, dropped to 2,415 square feet.

“Home size is trending lower and will likely continue to do so as housing affordability remains constrained,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in the report.

The median and average size of a new-home rose in the wake of the Great Recession, peaking at about 2,700 and 2,500 square feet, respectively, in 2015, before shrinking steadily until the pandemic sparked a need for extra space among homeowners in 2020.

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