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More New Homes Are Being Built with 4-Plus Bedrooms

NAHB: Since COVID-19, more Americans want bigger homes: The share of single-family homes started with 4 or more bedrooms rose from 42.6% in 2019 to 45.2% in 2020.

WASHINGTON – More Americans are desiring bigger homes since the pandemic – and builders are responding. The share of new single-family homes with four or more bedrooms posted a sharp uptick, unlike in recent years, the National Association of Home Builders reports on its Eye on Housing blog.

The share of single-family homes started with four bedrooms or more rose from 42.6% in 2019 to 45.2% in 2020.

“These developments are linked to changes in the makeup of home buyers from the previous years,” Litic Murali reports on NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog. “In 2020, the detrimental economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a low-interest-rate environment in the U.S., and low housing supply together drove prices up, leaving some prospective first-time home buyers out of the market.

Successful buyers were generally looking for more space.”

The need for more space also may be growing as Americans embrace multigenerational living. About 16% of buyers have opted for a multigenerational home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 11% the previous year, according to 2020 data from the National Association of Realtors®. NAR’s data shows the most common reason for a multigenerational home this year was to care for and spend more time with older parents, followed by cost savings and the ability to pool several incomes.

However, as homes get larger, lots sizes are shrinking. An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by StorageCafe shows that the median home size is now about 2,260 square feet – up from 2,170 square feet in 2010. The median lot size, however, on a new home has decreased nearly 18% (10,500 square feet in 2010 to 8,700 square feet in 2020).

Source: “Share of New Homes with 4 or More Bedrooms Jumped in 2020,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Sept. 29, 2021)

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