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New Home Design Trends | Are New Homes Getting Smaller?

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 @ 06:01 AM

The Incredible Shrinking Home

Raleigh New Home Trends

We've all heard numerous times that the average new home size is getting smaller. 

But is today's new home smaller than the one you grew up in?  Or is it just better planned and built than homes a few years ago?  Let's take a look at what's really been going on with new home sizes over the past 40 years or so! 

Home Size | Raleigh Custom Home Builders

In 1973, the average new home in the United States was only 1,660 square feet.   That's average - meaning many homes were much smaller.

If you grew up in the 70s, you probably remember sharing a much smaller home than the one you're currently living in, probably with a couple of siblings!

  • The average new home size did not exceed 1,800 square feet until 13 years later.  In 1986, the average new home was a whopping 1,825 square feet.
  • In just one year, the average home size jumped from 1,825 square feet in 1986, to 1,905 square feet in 1987 (more room to watch the tv debut of "The Simpsons"!)
  • In only two more years, 1989 saw the average home size increase to 2,035 square feet.
  • It took another 5 years to break the 2,100 square foot barrier, which happened in both 1994 and 1996.
  • And another 5 years later, in 1999, the average home size was 2,223 square feet. 
  • But homeowners kept asking for larger homes.  It only took another two years to break the next barrier.  In 2001, the average new home size was 2,324 square feet.
  • Not done yet!  In 2005, the average home was 2,434 square feet, over 2400 for the first time.
  • And in 2007, the average new home was 2,521 square feet, the largest to date.

Where are New Home Sizes Today?

After peaking at 2,521 square feet in 2007, the average new home stayed constant in 2008, decreased in size in 2009 and 2010, but bounced back up in 2011. The average new home size in 2011 was 2,480 square feet.

New homes have made some incredible gains in size over the past 40 years or so.

The average new home in 2010 was:

  • 44% Larger than in 1973 (37 years ago)What is the average new home size? 2012 new home trends | raleigh new homes
  • 41% Larger than in 1976 (34 years ago)
  • 31% Larger than in 1986 (24 years ago)
  • 6% Larger than in 2000 (10 years ago)
  • From 1973 to 2004, the average home increased in size by 22 square feet per year.
  • From 2004 to 2007, the average home increased by 43 square feet per year, double the typical rate.

Why is today's new home smaller than it was a few years ago?

  • Homebuyers are much more budget conscious
  • Homebuyers are not as interested in rooms they have little to no use for
  • Homebuyers want a home that works the way they need it to, rather than the biggest home on the street.

More New Home Size Trend Topics:

New Home Size Trends - What's Happened over 40 Years?

2012 New Home Trends - Homes 1799 Square Feet and Smaller 

2012 New Home Trends - Trends in Homes from 1800 to 2399 Square Feet  

2012 New Home Trends - Trends in Homes from 2400 to 2999 Square Feet

2012 New Home Trends - Trends in Homes from 3000 to 3999 Square Feet

2012 New Home Trends - Trends in Homes 4000+ Square Feet

Tags: new home styles, average new home size, new home trends, custom home design trends