An expected impact of the virus crisis is a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes including work. Recent data confirm this impact on the market continues to occur.
According to fourth-quarter 2021 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, the median single-family square floor area increased to 2,338 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes increased to 2,561.
Since Great Recession lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is now 6.3% higher at 2,537 square feet, while the median size is 10% higher at 2,312 square feet.
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 the home size to continue to increase, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes (for work among other purposes) in the post-Covid-19 environment.