U.S. homes are among the largest in the world, according to a survey of 29,000 homeowners across nine countries by listing service Point2Homes. Australia topped the list at an average size of 2,032 square feet, followed by the U.S. (1,901) and Canada (1,792).
When asked what size of home they desired, respondents in the U.S. said between 1,501 and 2,000 square feet. Respondents in Mexico, the U.K. and Australia sought homes over 2,501 square feet while those in Canada, Brazil, Germany, France and Spain said 1,001 to 1,500 square feet was ideal.
Homes in the U.S. offer the largest living area per person at 656 square feet, followed by Canada (618), Australia (549), Germany (492) and France (454). Still, 38% of U.S. respondents said they wanted more space.
The size of U.S. homes constructed immediately after the recession trended larger, as those who could afford to build and could qualify for a mortgage typically asked for bigger, higher-end properties.
Now, however, homebuilders are turning their focus towards the entry-level segment in response to pent-up demand among first-time buyers who are particularly sensitive to competition-driven home price increases and the recent uptick in mortgage rates from historical lows.
The market is moving in that direction with its new inventory. The median size of a new U.S. single-family home was 2,402 square feet during the third quarter, on-par with the second-quarter figure of 2,392 square feet, which itself was a near-3% drop from the first quarter.
Still, on a one-year moving average, the average single-family home is still 11% larger than the cycle low, at 2,424 square feet.
However, the quarterly declines indicate that the market is slowly moving through recovery.
For more housing news, sign up for our daily residential construction newsletter.