Design Trends

What Home Buyers Really Want, Study Shows Buyers Want Smaller Homes

The 2024 edition of What Home Buyers Really Want has been released. The study is meant to provide industry professionals with research and analysis on homebuyer preferences in their homes and communities. The study also shows granular specific based on various demographic factors. These can include generation, geographic location, race/ethnicity, income and price point.

Home size preferences are much different from what they were 20 years ago when, in 2003, the average buyer wanted a 2,260-sq.-ft. home. This number, on a downward trend, has slowly dropped over the years. The typical 2003-2012 buyer wanted a home from 2,200 to 2,300 sq. ft., only further dropping to between 2,000 and 2,100 sq. ft. since 2015.

Further more, U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the size of a new home has been going down with nearly a decade.

According to Eye On Housing, The average size of new homes started in 2023 dropped to 2,411 square feet (the smallest in 13 years), continuing a downward trend that began in 2015 when average home size peaked at 2,689 square feet. The only year that saw home size increase during this period was 2021, due to the pandemic-induced desire for additional space to work/study from home and the low interest-rate environment that allowed buyers to purchase those bigger homes. But the decline in average home size resumed in both 2022 and 2023. Importantly, the median size of new homes has also trended down for a decade, reaching 2,179 square feet in 2023.

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