NAHB Analysis: U.S. Houses Getting (A Little Bit) Smaller

The National Association of Home Builders reports that houses continue to get just a bit smaller:

New single-family home size trended lower during the final quarter of 2019 as interest rates remained low and builders seek to add additional entry-level supply.

According to fourth quarter 2019 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area ticked down to 2,252 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes increased to 2,511 square feet.

Here’s a look at the trend in graphic form:

After a large growth, house size is about the same as pre-recession levels. NAHB says this trend is typical, 

The post-recession increase in single-family home size was consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as home buyers tighten budgets, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions.