Size Matters: Most Americans Dissatisfied with Home’s Square Footage

Posted on Mar 14 2017 - 9:41am by Zoe Eisenberg

When it comes to a home's square footage, Americans seem to have a Goldilocks mindset: too big, too small, jussstttt right. At least, this is the consensus from a recent Trulia/Harris Poll study. The study, which surveyed over 2,000 American homeowners, found that most folks want a different sized home than the one they’re in now. However, they don't necessarily want to go bigger. Today’s average new home size is over 2,700 square feet, 57 percent larger than homes built about forty years ago. It's undeniable that homes are getting larger. But interestingly enough, just because the average home size is getting larger doesn’t mean everyone is looking for more square footage. In fact, 60.6 percent of those questioned were looking to downsize. It seems more space doesn't necessarily mean more comfort.

Below are some key findings from the survey:

  • As expected, age matters when it comes to size. Only 26 percent of baby boomers surveyed would upsize their homes, whereas 46 percent of millennials would like to add more square footage.
  • Only 32 percent of those surveyed would choose a home the same size as the one they’re currently living in if they decided to move within a year.
  • Out of survey respondents currently living in homes larger than 2,000 square feet, only 39.4 percent would choose a larger home, compared to 60.6 percent looking to downsize.
  • One interesting takeaway from the study is based on income. It seems the more affluent hope to minimize their square footage, whereas those with smaller incomes want to score more space. Seem backwards? It isn't. Fifty-three percent of those making more than $150,000 a year hope to downsize, whereas 65 percent of those making under $150,000 say that would snag a bigger spot if given the chance.


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For more data from the survey, click here. 

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Klaus Illian March 18, 2017 at 9:43 am -

    The term I started using years ago is “efficient housing.” A 1500-1700 SF ranch/bungalow style offers plenty of space as long as the layout isn’t the same as 40 years ago. Get rid of the wasted formal living room and use the square footage for a larger MBR suite and a gourmet kitchen. Make rooms slightly more square rather than long rectangles and raise the ceilings from 8 to 9 feet. Insulate well and install high efficiency systems and appliances. It feels better than an older 2100 SF house, with lower utility bills and fewer rooms to furnish. Efficient housing!

  2. Jim March 20, 2017 at 9:59 am -

    We’re seeing the exact same trends in our market.