No dice for smaller homes trend in 2011

February 22, 2012 03:30PM

An expected national trend toward smaller homes to avoid spending has not come to fruition despite the economic downturn, the Urban Land Institute reported. And according to recent figures released by the National Association of Home Builders, it’s not likely to happen any time soon.

Despite fewer newer homes being built in the first half of 2011, the average single-family home in the U.S. measured 2,522 square feet, U.S. Census data shows, 141 square feet larger than in 2010 and even 18 square feet bigger than in 2007, which was a record high.

The reason for the rise, explained Rose Quint, a research specialist at the NAHB, is that last year “the market was dominated by a segment of buyers who tend to buy better-than-average homes. You pretty much had to be a superstar to buy last year, and that forced builders to chop off the lower half of the market.”

Quint said, however, that a move towards smaller homes might take root in coming years, as lenders “allow less-creditworthy buyers back into the market.” [Urban Land Institute]