Median square footage of new homes inches down in first quarter of 2022

Cedar Rapids neighborhood median square footage
A residential neighborhood in northeast Cedar Rapids. CREDIT RICHARD PRATT

An expected impact of the COVID-19 virus crisis is a need for more residential space, as people use homes for more purposes including work.  According to first quarter 2022 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), median single-family square floor area inched down to 2,310 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes decreased to 2,512.

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 2,318 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, NAHB officials said they expect home size to continue to increase modestly, 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 environment.