Trend: Squeezing More Homes Onto Smaller Lots

September 3, 2014

While single-family homes have been getting larger, the lots these homes sit on have been getting smaller, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses Sold.

Indeed, the median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold from 1992 through 1995 was 10,000 square feet. By 2013, that median lot size was down to 8,720 square feet, one of the smallest numbers (along with 2012’s median lot size of 8,687) recorded by the Census.  

The median lot size for 2013 is about one-fifth of an acre. Townhomes tend to have smaller lots, with the median lot size for single-family attached homes at 2,984 square feet. Meanwhile, the median lot size for custom single-family detached homes is bigger, at about 39,204 square feet in 2013.

The National Association of Home Builders, on its Eye on Housing blog, decided to put that lot size into a football perspective. How many single-family detached homes built for sale with a median lot size could builders squeeze on a standard American football field between the goal lines? About 5.5 single-family detached homes, the NAHB estimates.

Source: “How Many Homes Fit on a Football Field?” National Association of Home Builders Eye on Housing Blog (Sept. 2, 2014)