The Median Home Size in Every U.S. State in 2022
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The Median Home Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

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the average home size in every U.S. state

The Median Home Size in Every U.S. State in 2022

Over the last century, home sizes in the U.S. have skyrocketed. In 1949, the typical single-family home was just 909 square feet—by 2021, it had shot up to 2,480 square feet.

While U.S. homes are getting larger on the whole, they still vary drastically depending on the location. What areas in the U.S. have the largest homes, and which ones have the smallest?

This graphic by American Home Shield uses data from the 2022 American Home Size Index to show the median home size in every U.S. state.

The 2022 American Home Size Index

The index uses data from 474,157 listings of both houses and condos for sale on Zillow as of May 2022. After the data was compiled, it was organized by state and city, and the median home size was then calculated for each area.

According to the findings, there was a strong correlation with the size of a home and the age of the area’s housing stock. For instance, Utah is the U.S. state with the largest median home size at 2,800 square feet. And since the state’s median home was built in 1989, it has the third-youngest home stock of any state across the country.

This trend is apparent on a city-level as well. Here’s a look at home sizes across America’s top 50 most populated cities (with available data):

Average home size in 50 U.S. cities

As the graphic shows, up-and-coming tech hubs like Raleigh and Colorado Springs have some of the largest homes.

Colorado Springs in particular has seen a significant influx in employment over the last few years, which has attracted high-income tech workers to the area driven up demand for spacious single-family dwellings.

The Price of Real Estate Compared to Home Size

The data also showed an inverse relationship between an area’s median price of real estate and the median home size. For instance, Hawaii has the smallest median home size of any state, as well as the most expensive at $743.86 per square foot.

comparing home prices in every U.S. state

This trend is apparent in the state of New York as well, which had the second smallest median home size. Home costs in the state were a median $421.49 per square foot, the third-most expensive of any state.

Lot Size vs. Home Size

Interestingly, while home sizes in the U.S. have gotten larger over time, lot sizes have shrunk over the years.

In 1978, the median lot size for a U.S. property was 18,760 square feet, but by 2020, this figure had dropped to a record low of 13,896 square feet.

With lot sizes shrinking, will there come a point where home size growth across the country starts to plateau, or even shrink?

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Markets

These Global Cities Show the Highest Real Estate Bubble Risk

A global look at which cities have the most overheated real estate markets. Toronto shows the highest bubble risk in 2022.

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These Global Cities Show the Highest Real Estate Bubble Risk

Housing bubbles are a tricky phenomenon. As a market gathers steam and prices increase, it remains a matter of debate whether that market is overvalued and flooded with speculation, or it’s simply experiencing robust demand.

Of course, once a bubble bursts, it’s all obvious in hindsight.

One common red flag is when prices decouple from local incomes and rents. As well, imbalances in the real economy, such as excessive construction activity and lending can signal a bubble in the making.

The map above, based on data from the Real Estate Bubble Index by UBS, examines 25 global cities, scoring them based on their bubble risk.

Overinflated Markets

In the 2022 edition of the Real Estate Bubble Index, nine of the cities covered were classified as having extreme bubble risk (1.5 or higher score).

RankRisk CategoryCityBubble Index Score
#1🔴🇨🇦 Toronto2.24
#2🔴🇩🇪 Frankfurt2.21
#3🔴🇨🇭 Zurich1.81
#4🔴🇩🇪 Munich1.80
#5🔴🇭🇰 Hong Kong1.71
#6🔴🇨🇦 Vancouver1.70
#7🔴🇳🇱 Amsterdam1.62
#8🔴🇮🇱 Tel Aviv1.59
#9🔴🇯🇵 Tokyo1.56
#10🟠🇺🇸 Miami1.39
#11🟠🇺🇸 Los Angeles1.31
#12🟠🇸🇪 Stockholm1.22
#13🟠🇫🇷 Paris1.21
#14🟠🇦🇺 Sydney1.19
#15🟠🇨🇭 Geneva1.14
#16🟠🇬🇧 London1.08
#17🟠🇺🇸 San Francisco0.78
#18🟠🇺🇸 Boston0.75
#19🟠🇪🇸 Madrid0.59
#20🟠🇺🇸 New York0.57
#21🟠🇸🇬 Singapore0.50
#22🟢🇮🇹 Milan0.34
#23🟢🇧🇷 Sao Paulo0.20
#24🟢🇦🇪 Dubai0.16
#25🟢🇵🇱 Warsaw0.15

Canada’s largest city finds itself at the top of a ranking no city wants to end up on. Toronto’s home prices have been rising steadily for years now, and many, including UBS, believe that the city is now firmly in bubble territory.

Chart showing Toronto's rising home prices

Vancouver also finds itself in a similar position. Both Canadian cities have a high quality of life and have thriving tech industries.

Notably, none of the U.S. cities analyzed find themselves in the most extreme bubble risk category. The closest scoring U.S. city was Miami, which sits firmly in overvalued territory (0.5-1.5 range) with a score of 1.39.

Examining the Trends

In recent years, low interest rates helped push home prices and incomes further apart.

For cities in the bubble risk zone, prices have climbed by an average of 60% in inflation-adjusted terms over the past decade, while rents and real incomes increased by just 12%. And, while COVID-19 briefly put a dent in urban demand, rents in the cities analyzed rose at around the same pace as pre-pandemic times.

As a result, all but three of the cities saw positive price growth over the past year from a nominal price perspective:

Chart showing real estate price growth rates in global cities in 2021

U.S. cities occupy a number of spots at the top of this chart. Miami, in particular, is seeing strong internal migration patterns, as well as renewed interest from foreign investors.

Hong Kong experienced the biggest one-year nominal drop of all the cities analyzed. The report notes that since around 2019 Hong Kong “has broadly stagnated as the lack of affordability, economic woes, and pandemic restrictions all took a major toll on demand.”

Prices can’t rise forever. According to UBS, most cities with high valuations, price corrections have already begun, or could be right around the corner.

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Personal Finance

Mapped: The Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities

Is owning a home still realistic? This map lays out the salary you’d need to buy a home in 50 different U.S. metro areas.

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This is the Salary You Need to Buy a Home in 50 U.S. Cities

Depending on where you live, owning a home may seem like a far off dream or it could be fairly realistic. In New York City, for example, a person needs to be making at least six figures to buy a home, but in Cleveland you could do it with just over $45,000 a year.

This visual, using data from Home Sweet Home, maps out the annual salary you’d need for home ownership in 50 different U.S. cities.

Note: The map above refers to entire metro areas and uses Q1 2022 data on median home prices. The necessary salary was calculated by the source, looking at the base cost of principal, interest, property tax, and homeowner’s insurance.

Home Ownership Across the U.S.

San Jose is by far the most expensive city when it comes to purchasing a home. A person would need to earn over $330,000 annually to pay off the mortgage at a monthly rate of $7,718.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers:

RankMetro AreaMedian Home PriceSalary Needed
#1San Jose$1,875,000$330,758
#2San Francisco$1,380,000$249,685
#3San Diego$905,000$166,828
#4Los Angeles$792,500$149,127
#5Seattle$746,200$140,768
#6Boston$639,000$130,203
#7New York City$578,100$129,459
#8Denver$662,200$121,888
#9Austin$540,700$114,679
#10Washington, D.C.$553,000$110,327
#11Portland$570,500$109,267
#12Riverside/San Bernardino$560,000$106,192
#13Sacramento$545,000$105,934
#14Miami$530,000$103,744
#15Salt Lake City$556,900$100,970
#16Providence$406,700$88,477
#17Phoenix$474,500$86,295
#18Las Vegas$461,100$84,116
#19Raleigh$439,100$83,561
#20Dallas$365,400$81,165
#21Orlando$399,900$79,573
#22Chicago$325,400$76,463
#23Tampa$379,900$75,416
#24Houston$330,800$74,673
#25Minneapolis$355,800$74,145
#26Baltimore$350,900$73,803
#27Nashville$387,200$73,502
#28Jacksonville$365,900$73,465
#29Hartford$291,000$73,165
#30Charlotte$379,900$72,348
#31San Antonio$321,100$70,901
#32Atlanta$350,300$69,619
#33Philadelphia$297,900$69,569
#34Richmond$354,500$68,629
#35Milwaukee$298,800$65,922
#36Kansas City$287,400$60,507
#37Columbus$274,300$59,321
#38Virginia Beach$289,900$59,245
#39New Orleans$281,100$57,853
#40Birmingham$289,500$55,662
#41Indianapolis$271,600$53,586
#42Memphis$259,300$52,691
#43Cincinnati$244,300$51,840
#44Buffalo$202,300$51,525
#45Detroit$224,300$50,302
#46St Louis$216,700$48,988
#47Louisville$235,400$48,121
#48Cleveland$192,700$45,448
#49Oklahoma City$198,200$45,299
#50Pittsburgh$185,700$42,858

Perhaps surprisingly, Boston residents need slightly higher earnings than New Yorkers to buy a home. The same is also true in Seattle and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, some of the cheapest cities to start buying up real estate in are Oklahoma City and Cleveland.

As of April, the rate of home ownership in the U.S. is 65%. This number represents the share of homes that are occupied by the owner, rather than rented out or vacant.

The American Dream Home

As of the time of this data (Q1 2022), the national yearly fixed mortgage rate sat at 4% and median home price at $368,200. This put the salary needed to buy a home at almost $76,000⁠—the median national household income falls almost $9,000 below that.

But what kind of homes are people looking to purchase? Depending on where you live the type of home and square footage you can get will be very different.

In New York City, for example, there are fairly few stand-alone, single-family houses in the traditional sense⁠—only around 4,000 are ever on the market. People in the Big Apple tend to buy condominiums or multi-family units.

Additionally, if you’re looking for luxury, not even seven figures will get you much in the big cities. In Miami, a million dollars will only buy you 833 square feet of prime real estate.

One thing is for sure: the typical American dream home of the big house with a yard and white picket fence is more attainable in smaller metro areas with ample suburbs.

Buying vs. Renting

The U.S. median household income is $67,500, meaning that today the typical family could only afford a home in about 15 of the 50 metro areas highlighted above, including New Orleans, Buffalo, and Indianapolis.

With the income gap widening in the U.S., the rental market remains a more attractive option for many, especially as prices are finally tapering off. The national median rent price was down nearly 3% from June to July for two-bedroom apartments.

At the end of the day, buying a home can be an important investment and may provide a sense of security, but it will be much easier to do in certain types of cities.

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