The increasing movement toward smaller homes has gained in popularity throughout the nation. NAHB’s Consumer Preferences reports a continued interest in smaller homes. Between 2009 and 2015, the median square footage of a new single-family home grew from 2,135 to 2,467. But, in 2010, builders indicated they would be building smaller homes moving forward. We have seen that over the last two years, as the home sizes have gradually decreased to 2,388 square feet. Consumers in a direct response to the consumer survey indicated price, energy efficiency, home organization and comfort as the key factors influencing a new home purchase decision. This survey supports our observations that The Great Recession appears to have heightened our sense of value with greater impact than simple frugality – value that may have much more lasting impact than mere price sensitivity.
The more efficient use of space in a new home demands better design and materials as well as carefully selected furnishings. Such attention to value is likely to become desirable as an appealing trend that implies new directions for the home building industry.
NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted in a recent Eye on Housing post that this rise and fall in home size is consistent with historical patterns in the wake of a recession.
“The recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended, and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory,” Dietz wrote.
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