New homes are getting smaller, according to the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB studied data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design report and found the median square-footage of a new single-family home in the second quarter was 2,344, down from 2,435 square feet in the first quarter and 2,385 square feet a year ago.
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The mean square-footage took a similar tumble, slipping to 2,555 square feet in the second quarter from 2,639 square feet in Q1 and 2,618 in the second quarter of 2017.
“New home size has been falling over the last two years due to an incremental move to additional entry-level home construction,” Robert Dietz, chief economist for NAHB, wrote in a blog post.
Home sizes soared after the recession, Dietz wrote. “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,” according to Dietz.
The decrease in home size in the second quarter was driven by homes in the Northeast and Midwest regions, where square footage fell 10.81% and 8.08% respectively.
Home size in the West region was relatively stable, falling just 1.11% from the first quarter and 2% from a year ago.
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Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.