Lots Shrink As New Home Size Grows

Since the late 1990s, the median size of newly built single-family homes has been growing. In fact, new homes have grown from 2,100 square feet in 1999 to nearly 2,600 square feet by the end of last year. That’s a 24 percent increase. But having a bigger house near a city center comes at a price. In this case, Americans have sacrificed having a large yard in order to have more indoor space. According to new data from Zillow, the median lot size has shrunk about 10 percent, from 9,600 square feet in 1999 to about 8,600 square feet today. “The idea that Americans increasingly prefer smaller homes is simply not supported by the most recent construction data,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said. “We still want our big homes with ample bedrooms and bathrooms, but increasingly, we’re having to make a tradeoff to keep those kinds of homes accessible – namely, smaller lots.” According to Gudell, the trend toward larger homes on smaller lots is a compromise between what builders can profitably build and what consumers will actually buy. More here.

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