Over the last century, the average home size in the U.S. has skyrocketed. In 1949, the typical single-family home was just 909 square feet—by 2021, it had shot up to 2,480 square feet.
According to The 2022 American Home Size Index the shift towards larger homes was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic when concerns over social distancing and remote work led many to relocate from urban areas to suburban and rural neighborhoods. In one 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. By July 2021 that figure had risen to 60%.
- Fast-growing tech hubs in the Rocky Mountains have the largest homes. In Colorado Springs, the average home is 2,760 square feet – the largest of any major U.S. city.
- Areas with newer housing stock have larger homes. In Utah, the state with the largest homes, the typical home is 33 years old – 11 years newer than the U.S. median.
- High-density coastal cities have the most expensive real estate. In New York City, there are 28,182 people per square mile, and homes cost $1,519.57 per square foot on average – each the highest such figure of any major U.S. city.
- Expensive real estate may be driving people to look for cheaper homes elsewhere. From 2020 to 2021, the population of New York City fell 3.5% – the second largest decline of any major U.S. city.