Home size has seen a large increase over the past several decades, from 909 square feet in 1949 to 2,480 square feet in 2021, according to the American Home Size Index report released this week by American Home Shield (AHS). The report evaluates which cities and states have the largest homes, and where they are the most expensive.
- The area with the largest homes are rural, western states, with Utah at 2,800 square feet, Colorado at 2,464 square feet, Idaho at 2,311 square feet, and Wyoming at 2,285 square feet.
- Fast-growing, midsize tech hub cities have the largest homes, such as Colorado Springs, CO at 2,760 square feet, Aurora, CO at 2,451 square feet, and Raleigh, NC at 2,366 square feet.
- Hawaii and New York have both the most expensive real estate and the smallest homes, with Hawaii at $743.86 per an average of 1,164 square feet, and New York at $421.49 per an average of 1,490 square feet.
- Dense and coastal cities like San Francisco and New York City have some of the most expensive homes, with San Francisco at 17,376 people per square mile and an average cost of $1,074.34 per square foot, and New York City at 28,182 people per square mile and an average cost of $1,519.57 per square foot.
The major takeaway:
Homeowners are looking for larger homes in suburban and rural neighborhoods rather than urban areas. The population of New York City lowered by 3.5% from 2020 to 2021, the second largest decline of any major U.S. city.
This shift can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, due to social distancing concerns and most workplaces transitioning to remote. In a September 2019 survey, 53% of respondents said they preferred to live in a community where the houses are larger and farther apart, with schools, stores, and restaurants several miles away. Ten months later in July 2021 this figure had risen to 60%.
“While ‘location, location, location’ was once the guiding mantra in real estate, in recent years the rise in remote work has led many to move from expensive city centers to more affordable suburban areas. Americans want larger homes in lower-density areas since the COVID-19 pandemic, and developers are quick to accommodate their demand. Construction on new homes is booming, and real estate values continue to soar,” stated authors of the report. “But every housing market is different, and while homes in some cities are getting larger, homes in other areas are downsizing. Before starting your next real estate search, it is important to know which cities and states have the largest homes.”
To view the full report, click here.