US homes have shown a steady and quite remarkable rate of growth in size over the past 100 years.
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.
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.
The Southwest and Texas saw the highest increases, as regular homes turned into mansions
While Texan homes have always been known for their grandiose proportions, they have still managed to come a long way from their not-so-humble beginnings, and those being built nowadays in San Antonio and in Dallas are about twice as large as a century ago, and are some of the largest in the nation.