As the economy slowly recovers, America’s love affair with oversized homes continues to grow. According to a new Census Bureau report, the average and median size of a new home has grown significantly in the past few years.
When the housing bubble burst in 2007, there was a glut of unsold inventory and the size of newly built homes began to shrink. In 2008 and 2009, the median size of a new home fell for two years, before heading up again in 2010, Census Bureau figures show.
Last year, the average size of new houses built increased to an all-time high of 2,679 square feet, and the median-sized new home set a new record of 2,491 square feet. Over the last 40 years, the average home has increased in size by more than 1,000 square feet, from an average size of 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,679 square feet last year. Likewise, the median-sized home has increased in size by almost 1,000 square feet, from 1,525 square feet in 1973 to 2,491 in 2013. In percentage terms, the average home size has increased by 61.4 percent since 1973, while the median home size increased by 63.3 percent.
Not only are homes being built today bigger than those built in earlier decades, they also have almost more of everything — different types of rooms such as more bedrooms and bathrooms, more amenities such as washers and dryers, garbage disposals and fireplaces — and more safety features such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and sprinkler systems.
It looks like those who proclaimed the death of suburbia and the McMansion were premature. In 2010, homes started growing again. And homes are getting bigger while households are getting smaller.