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.
The 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.