Starting from the common grievance that living space in the largest cities has been shrinking, with people paying more money for less space, the team at PropertyShark set out to analyze the evolution of new home sizes for each decade since 1910, in 32 of the largest cities in the US.
Here are some highlights from this study
- US homes built in the last 6 years are 74% larger than those built in the 1910s and the average household size decreased from 4.5 to 2.5 people. It results that living space per person in these newly built homes is up by 211%
- Las Vegas (+191%) and San Diego (+124%) saw the largest increases in new home size compared to the 1910s
- The largest homes are now being built in Orlando, San Antonio, and Nashville, while the smallest can be found in Boston, San Francisco, and Miami.
Overall, city-living is more spacious than ever before
Pulling in data for properties across 32 of the largest and busiest US cities, we’ve been able to determine the local building size trends for each decade since 1910. We then compared local trends with the evolution in size of the average American home to see whether urban living does indeed mean sacrificing larger living spaces found in the suburbs and smaller cities in exchange for convenience.
With a few notable, though not altogether surprising, exceptions, the average size of homes, by which we mean houses, condos and co-ops, has gone up significantly across America, with Las Vegas and San Diego leading the pack in terms of growth.
US-wide homes now larger by 74%, personal living space went up 211%
US-wide, homes built in the last 6 years are 74% larger than those built in the 1910s, an increase of a little over 1,000 square feet. The average new home in America, be it condo or house, now spreads over 2,430 square foot. It is also important to note that, parallel to the rise in living space, households have been getting smaller over the same period. Nowadays, the average number of people in a household is 2.58, compared to 4.54 in 1910. This means that today the average individual living in a newly built home in the US enjoys 211% more living space than their grandparents did, 957 square feet in total.
Only 4 cities now surpass the national average
Looking at the data for these 32 cities, it seems there’s credence to the claim that big-city life means small-space living, at least in relative terms. Of the 32, only 4 cities rank above the national median in terms of size of homes built between 2010 and 2016 – Orlando, San Antonio, Nashville and Dallas. All of these can boast a median home that spreads over more than 2,600 square feet, a generous space by any account.
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