An expected impact of the virus crisis is a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes including work. During the housing boom of recent quarters, this led to a rise for new single-family home size. However, as the housing market weakens this trend appears to be reversing.
According to second quarter 2022 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area inched down to 2,302 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes decreased to 2,498.
Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is now 5.9% higher, while the median size is 10.3% higher.
Home size rose from 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained. Home size declined between 2016 and 2020 as more starter homes were developed. Going forward we expect home size to face opposing determinants. A shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes (for work among other purposes) will increase the demand for space, while tighter budgets due to elevated interest rates will reduce demand.–By ROBERT DIETZ