Homes Get Smaller, More Energy Efficient

Homes Get Smaller, More Energy Efficient
What features do buyers want today and in the future? The answer: smaller, more energy efficient homes.

The average size of a new single-family home in 2010 was 2,377 square feet, down from 2,438 square feet in 2009 and down from the peak of 2,520 square feet in 2007 and 2008, according to U.S. Census Bureau data presented by Rose Quint, assistant vice president of survey research for NAHB at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando Thursday, Jan. 13.

And the trend will only continue, Quint said, with the 2015 new home size currently projected at 2,150 square feet with fewer bathrooms and smaller garages.

It’s hard to say whether home sizes will decline to 1970 levels of 1,500 square feet. But Quint says she believes smaller sizes are here to stay based on demographics.

Other trends included in the Better Homes and Gardens study: built-ins, media space for flat screen TVs and gaming systems, and areas of the home wired for technology. Buyers also want combined kitchen, family room, and living room open space. Universal design features, she said, will be incorporated in much more subtle ways.

Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine

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