The size of new single-family homes has increased substantially in the last few decades. However, a recent trend in slightly smaller homes that began several years ago might be reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As homebuyers spend more time at home, they are seeking houses with more space. According to data from Realtor.com, the median size of residential listings in the United States was 1,838 square feet in 2020, but home sizes vary widely by market.
Census Bureau data on new home construction shows that the median size of new single-family homes increased by more than 50 percent over the last several decades, from 1,525 square feet in 1973 to a peak of 2,467 square feet in 2015. At the same time, homes with four or more bedrooms became much more common.
Beginning in 2016, as more millennials entered the real estate market, the demand for more affordable, smaller homes started to grow. As a result, the median size of new homes trended downward in the years leading up to COVID-19. But now, as people spend more time at home, residences with more space — including room for a home office or gym — are more desirable again.
Home sizes vary substantially across the United States. In more densely populated areas with high housing costs, small homes are the norm. The same is also true in less affluent areas where owning a larger home is not feasible. On the other hand, homes in more affluent suburban or rural areas tend to be larger. At the state level, Utah and Colorado boasted the largest homes for sale in 2020, with median residential listing sizes of 2,574 square feet and 2,286 square feet, respectively. Conversely, Hawaii reported the smallest homes for sale at just 1,201 square feet.
To find the metropolitan areas with the largest and smallest homes, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed the latest data from Realtor.com and the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the median size of residential listings. Researchers also calculated the median list price, the median price per square foot and median household income.
To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into the following cohorts based on population size:
- Small metros: 100,000–349,999
- Midsize metros: 350,000–999,999
- Large metros: 1,000,000 or more
The analysis found that in the Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard metropolitan area, the median size of all residential listings is 2,050 square feet, compared to the national average of 1,838 square feet. Here is a summary of the data for the Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard metro area:
- Median size of residential listings (square feet): 2,050
- Median list price: $486,194
- Median price per square foot: $242
- Median household income: $79,624
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
- Median size of residential listings (square feet): 1,838
- Median list price: $334,081
- Median price per square foot: $155
- Median household income: $65,712
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Filterbuy’s website.