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Home sizes steadily increase as post-pandemic needs shift

The idea of “home” and what exactly a house should be has shifted through the years with changing cultural norms, economic times and world events. So though the concept is nothing new, it’s fair to say that the Covid pandemic of the last two years has had perhaps one of the most impactful effects on the changing idea of “home” as we’ve seen.  

Even though the worst of the pandemic and times of quarantine are now behind us, that period of being forced to stay inside has influenced many to seek out homes with more room to spread out, spaces optimal for working, and other features like outdoor space and proximity to nature. Whether this is because the pandemic simply brought new priorities to light or caused people to feel the need to prepare in case a situation like Covid were to repeat itself isn’t quite clear. But whatever the specific motivation, single-family homes have continued to increase in size following the pandemic. 

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median square floor area of single-family homes has increased to 2,338 square feet, while the average rose to 2,561 in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 10% and 6.3% increase from the lows set during the Great Recession. 

“Going forward, we expect home size to continue to increase, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes—for work, among other purposes—in the post-COVID-19 environment,” Robert Dietz, the National Association of Home Builders chief economist, writes for the “Eye on Housing” blog.

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