- The median size of single-family homes has grown 11% in the last 10 years to a record 2,467 square feet, a whopping 61% bigger than 40 years ago, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Amenities have also skyrocketed, with 47% more new homes, since 1975, including air conditioning and 36% more incorporating an additional bathroom.
- This news from the Census Bureau flies in the face of conventional wisdom that buyers have been more introspective about their purchases and are opting for "less house" than they did before the housing crash.
Experts told Construction Dive earlier this year that millennials — the group on which much of the real estate industry is hanging its hope for robust future sales — care less about square footage and more about atmosphere. But then again, there's always the possibility that larger homes now make up a larger extent of what builders are offering.
Nevertheless, housing prices have been outpacing predictions, and, as The Journal reported, the fact that houses are getting bigger could help explain why. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report revealed that home prices in the U.S. rose 5.2% between March 2015 and March 2016.
Another factor contributing to the upward trajectory of house prices is a lack of supply, particularly in the markets that have seen a surge in job growth. According to April’s Zillow Real Estate Market Report, there were 3.4% fewer homes for sale in April 2016 than in April last year, and there were also 7.8% fewer starter homes on the market as well.
However, this lack of inventory hasn't hampered sales too much as, according to the National Association of Realtors, April existing home sales were up for the second month in a row, and new home sales were more brisk than they’ve been in eight years. Nevertheless, even though construction housing starts were up to 1.7% in April, they're still far away from pre-crash highs.