American homes shrink in size

January 14, 2011 11:56AM

The average size of new single-family homes completed in 2010 got smaller, a trend expected to continue for several years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In 2010, completed homes measured an average of 2,377 square feet, down about 3 percent from 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported. By 2015, builders expect the average home size to shrink to just 2,152 square feet. This downsizing ends an expansion that spanned nearly three decades, when the average size peaked at 2,521 square feet in 2007. More than half of builders expect to build smaller and lower-priced models in 2011. However, not all experts agree that oversized homes are on their way out. The NAHB noted that the average size of homes started last year increased slightly in the South. An online survey by Better Homes and Gardens magazine found that about 40 percent of consumers want to increase their total home size with their next move. The median square footage of current homes is 1,864 homes, slightly below the desired 1,914 square feet. [WSJ]