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New Buyers Are Preferring Smaller Homes

By Randolph Sturdivant | Apr 18, 2024
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April is New Homes Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is celebrating by listening to what homebuyers want: smaller, more affordable homes.

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April is New Homes Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is celebrating by listening to what homebuyers want: smaller, more affordable homes.

NAHB’s research showed that for the first time in 13 years, new home constructions have reached their smallest size per square foot, continuing a trend of decreasing housing size. A typical buyer in today’s market is looking for 2,067 square feet, down from 2023’s 2,260 square feet. U.S Census data list the average size of square feet for new homes built in 2023 as 2,179, the lowest since 2010.

Once thought of as a key part of the American dream, NAHB Chairman Carl Harris calls home ownership a “goal for families who are eager to put down roots and have a place to call their own,” but availability and affordability exacerbated by supply chain issues are placing even so called “starter” homes beyond the reach of many potential buyers.

Custom home builders want to sell homes and the public wants to buy them, but a contracting marketplace has made it hard on both. In response to this squeeze, 38% of builders constructed smaller, more affordable homes in 2023, and 26% plan on building even smaller homes this year. Efforts have already yielded a 6% drop in price between 2022 and 2023, revitalizing the market and providing continuing opportunities for any involved in the manufacturing process.    

“Boosting the nation’s housing supply is key to improving housing affordability. The residential construction industry is committed to keeping the cost of housing at the forefront of the national agenda and is working with all levels of government and both sides of the aisle so more Americans can achieve the dream of homeownership,” Harris said.

About The Author

Randolph Terrance Sturdivant is an SPJ award-winning, Emmy-nominated, freelance writer and comedian living in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. He is a prolific writer with stories covering a range of emotion and subjects. Reach him at [email protected]

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