- According to its analysis of the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction, the National Association of Home Builders found that the median lot size for new single-family homes in 2015 fell to a record low of less than 8,600 square feet.
- Although the national median lot size fell, the NAHB found significant regional differences in lot size, with the New England region coming in at a median of half an acre and the Pacific region bringing up the rear with more than half of its lots less than 0.15 acres.
- Not included in the NAHB analysis are custom home lots, which had a median size of 1 acre.
The NAHB said that regional differences in lot size are largely influenced by density zoning regulations. New England lots tend to be larger — 2.6 times the national median lot size — because of a preference for low-density residential neighborhoods. On the other hand, the shortage of developed land in the Pacific region — which includes the hot housing markets of San Francisco, Portland, OR, and Seattle — force the buildable lot sizes smaller.
According to the NAHB, median lot sizes in the Mountain (0.17 acres) and West South Central (0.16 acres) regions are also shrinking, but the East South Central region's lot sizes are second only to New England at a little less than a third of an acre.
Building lot availability is at an all-time low, with 64% of homebuilders finding an inadequate lot supply in their areas, according to a May NAHB survey. Builders are having the hardest time finding the premium "A" lots, and the West — which corresponds with the NAHB's Pacific region in the most recent report — had the most respondents who claimed they were experiencing a very low supply.
Another NAHB survey, the February NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, found that 59% of homebuilder respondents considered the high cost and low availability of lots to be a problem second only to a shortage of skilled labor.