American homes grow in size yet lots shrink

Zillow finds that American homes continue to grow larger even as their lots shrink:

Nationally, the median size of a new house is now 2,600 feet, a full 500 square feet (or almost 25 percent) more than it was just 15 years ago.

Yet the median lot size is now 8,600 square feet, down 1,000 square feet (or about 10 percent) over the same period:

Zillow continues to find interesting patterns in real estate data. So what could be behind this trend? Both the land and the home (materials, labor) cost developers and builders money. Thus, smaller lots with bigger houses can reduce land costs even as the home price might stay similar or increase because the home is growing. Or, perhaps this is also the result of land regulations from municipalities. Small lots could be preferred by some places because subdivisions and residential properties then take up less space.

One of the common complaints about McMansions is that the big house are on small lots. Yet, this may be necessary for some housing in order to (1) make housing more affordable (lower the costs for land) and (2) to limit damage to the environment (use less land and open land for more green space or open space).

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