Smaller Homes See Faster Turn Around For Sellers

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    According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average size of a new single family house was 1,500 square feet in 1970. However the average home built in the past 5 years was sized at more than 2,400 square feet.

    Roughly 35 percent of single-family houses built in 2010 in the U.S. had four or more bedrooms, an increase from the previous year after a four year decline. The share of homes built with three or more bathrooms was flat in 2010 at 24 percent after a big drop-off in 2009  the first decline in more than 15 years. And 17 percent of new houses had three or more garages, down from a 20 percent peak in 2005.

    “We’re doing a lot of ranch homes for people who want more accessibility,” he said. “Wider hallways, wider doors to bathrooms on the first floor. Nine-foot ceilings are becoming almost standard — everybody wants it.”

    More than half of the builders surveyed by the NAHB estimated that by 2015, the living room itself will likely be gone as it merges with other space in the home or disappears to save on square footage. And homes increasingly will skimp on space for dining rooms and entry foyers as they beef up family room space.

    In addition to the square footage of the living space the lot size has also decreased by about 35%. Home owners are looking for value while not purchasing space that will go unused.

    For this reason sellers of smaller homes have a better chance in this economy. Potential buyers may not want to add to their loan payment if the believe there will be an extended period before payback.


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