The Era of the Smaller Home Is Upon Us

Square footage is dropping, as are accompanying home prices, as homebuilders try to attract buyers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
The Era of the Smaller Home Is Upon Us
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/runna10)

With the cost of housing so high these days, it's no wonder that many have given up on the idea of homeownership, at least for the time being. Now, homebuilders appear to have hit on a solution of sorts, at least for those willing to embrace minimalism: erecting smaller homes, with an accompanying smaller price tag. The Wall Street Journal reports that the sizes of new homes in major cities are shrinking, including in Seattle, where the size of such abodes has dropped 18% over the past five years; San Antonio, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, are other cities where the trend is taking hold. So what are builders and architects doing to reduce the footprint of these new residences? Cutting out certain rooms and other perks, such as dining rooms, lofts, and bathtubs, all "to produce tighter, more efficient living spaces."

Bunk beds and bathrooms shared between bedrooms are also popping up more, as are kitchen islands as the main eating space. Nationally, the average size of a new home has fallen 10% to 2,420 square feet in the last five years. Two of the biggest groups expressing interest in scaled-down domiciles, which can knock tens of thousands of dollars off a home's price in exchange for that sparser square footage, are first-time buyers and those whose kids have flown the coop. Attached homes, where neighbors share walls, are also piquing potential homebuyers' interest. "They don't see a small home," one real estate agent in the Lexington, South Carolina, area tells the Journal of those interested in townhomes. "They see it as a dream come true." Read the full story. (More homes stories.)

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