Weekly real estate market update 4/12/24… new listings up, new houses are getting smaller

New listings hit their highest point in eight months, heading in the right direction. Showing activity bounced up again following the dip caused by the snow storm… similar to last year, just at a different time.

New listings are still above last year, will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out.

Thinking about buying a new construction home? Average new home size rose from 983 sq ft in 1950 to 2657 sq ft in 2014. After peaking in 2015 it declined until 2020 and the start of the pandemic when people were wanting more space in their homes and interest rates were so low it was more affordable. See what has been happening since then in the article below from our blog at Keeping Current Matters.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – shensrud@homesmsp.com

Blog Image

For Buyers, First-Time Buyers, Inventory, Affordability, Downsize

There’s no arguing it, affordability is still tight. And if you’re trying to buy a home, that may mean you need to look at smaller houses to find one that’s still in your budget. But there is a silver lining: builders are focused on building these smaller homes right now and they’re offering incentives. And that can help give you more options that fit the bill.

Newly Built Homes Are Trending Smaller

During the pandemic, homebuyers wanted (and could afford) larger homes – and builders delivered. They focused on homes that were bigger, so people had more space for things like working from home, having a home gym, bonus rooms for virtual school, and more.

But with the affordability challenges buyers are facing today, builders are increasingly shifting their attention to bringing smaller single-family homes to the market. The graph below uses data from the Census to show how this trend has evolved over the last few years:

a graph of a number of blue bars

So, why the shift to less square footage? It’s simple. Builders want to build what they know will sell. Basically, they focus on where the demand is strongest. And once mortgage rates started climbing and consumers felt the challenges of affordability creeping in, it became clear there was (and is) a very real need for smaller homes. As the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explains:

“After a brief increase during the post-covid building boom, home size is trending lower and will likely continue to do so as housing affordability remains constrained.”

A recent article in the Real Deal says this about how this helps buyers:

“Even a slightly smaller home can be thousands of dollars cheaper — for both builders and buyers. . . In response to affordability challenges, major homebuilders are shifting priorities away from the big ticket homes and towards the cheaper set.”

What This Means for You

If you’re having a hard time finding something in your budget, it may help to look at smaller homes. And, if you consider new builds specifically, you may find a few other fringe benefits that can help on the affordability front – like price reductions or mortgage rate buy-downs. As NAHB says:

“More than one-third of builders cut home prices in 2023. NAHB expects builders to continue offering smaller homes and more affordable designs as housing affordability remains a barrier to homeownership.”

As Charlie Bilello, Chief Market Strategist, at Creative Planningexplains:

“Homebuilders are adapting to the lowest affordability on record by building smaller homes and offering more incentives/price cuts. The median square footage of a new single-family home in the US has moved down to its lowest level since 2010.”

If you explore these options, you’ll also get brand new everything, enjoy a house with fewer maintenance needs, and some of the latest features available. That’s worth looking into, right? 

Bottom Line

Builders building smaller homes can give you more affordable options at a time when you may really need it. If you’re hoping to buy a home soon, let’s connect to look at what’s available in our area.

Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Weekly real estate market update 5/17/24… the number of homes for sale is increasing

đź–¨ Print Article New listings continue to increase and coming soon listings also increased again this week… good news for weeks to come. Transactions that fall through and come back...

April 2024 real estate market update… median sale price highest on record

đź–¨ Print Article Median sale price in April 2024 hit a new peak, even higher than highest sale prices in June (typically the yearly peak) of the last two years....

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!

Hidden

Blog Categories

Archives

Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.