Home » Land » Urban & Rural Home Size Growth Identical

Urban & Rural Home Size Growth Identical


In a previous post I reported that the number of single family homes had increased, and that they had increased in size. Since I have been using an urban-rural filter to look at population and land use data, I thought it might be interesting to use the same filter to look at trends in the size of newly constructed housing.

Urb-Rur Home Size ChartThe chart at right shows the average size of newly constructed single family homes in the U.S. by whether they were inside or outside of a metropolitan statistical area. The chart shows that throughout the period of 1973-2010, homes outside an MSA were about 14% smaller than their urban counterparts.

The average size of homes inside and outside of MSAs grew an identical 36% over the time period. However, looking at the chart, one can see that the size of both peaked 2007-2008, when the Great Recession began. Urban homes peaked a year before rural homes.

After decreasing in size for a couple of years, urban homes ticked up again in 2010, but rural homes did not. Did they just lag again by a year, or are the trends going to diverge? The data don’t say. The trends have diverged previously, only to reunite after a few years.


Median and Average Square Feet of Floor Area in New Single-Family Houses Completed by Location, Characteristics of New Housing, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/construction/chars.

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