Just Getting Bigger
Since 1910, home size in the United States has been expanding, by an average of 74 percent nationwide. State by state, however, the picture varies quite a bit. In some congested urban areas, homes are shrinking, while new developments in the South and West are gobbling up land and square footage. So how does your home state stack up? We’ve compiled data from Inman and Realtor.com, and then tossed in a few regional insights, to get a better idea of how big the average American home in each of the 50 states really is.
While the average size of the American home has been increasing for decades, regional trends around the nation are also worth tracking. For instance, at 1,800 square feet, the average home size in Alabama puts that state among the top 20 in terms of home size, according to a Realtor.com ranking. The economy in many Southern states has been growing steadily, so it's not surprising to see home sizes growing apace.
Based on 2019 data, Alaskan homes average 1,789 square feet. In Anchorage, homes are a bit larger, at 1,888 square feet. Although Alaska has the lowest population density of any state in the union, home sizes are influenced by a number of factors, including the state's relatively high cost of living and the expense of heating the great indoors in a frigid climate.
Depending on whom you ask, the average home size in Arizona is somewhere between 1,763 and 1,879 square feet. While you may not get as many square feet for your money as you might in neighboring Texas, expectations for a thriving real estate market in Arizona are high, thanks to a growing economy and business-friendly practices.
The average home size in Arkansas is an economical 1,792 square feet, and the housing market itself is small, representing only 1 percent of home addresses in the United States. The state may be a good place for a starter home, though: Home values in Arkansas trend 46 percent below the national median.
Average home size in California varies widely, depending on the city. For instance, San Diego boasts homes that average 2,417 square feet, while San Francisco’s are much smaller, at 1,150 square feet. According to data from Realtor.com, the average home in the state hovers around 1,625 square feet, and market analysts predict that house sizes will rise steadily.
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Near the top of the crop, Colorado has an average house size of 2,126 square feet, among the largest in the nation. From 1910 to 2020, the size of the average home in Colorado grew 67 percent. Several factors have contributed to the trend toward bigger homes across the nation, the foremost of which may be 20th century government policies that fueled the growth of suburbs.
As is often the case with older properties in the Northeast, homes in Connecticut tend to be smaller, particularly in comparison with newer builds in the South and West. That said, average home size in the state is 1,804 square feet, which is above the U.S. average.
At 1,800 square feet, the average home size in Delaware is above the national average and relatively large for the East Coast. According to Neighborhood Scout, the highest appreciating cities in the state are the vacation paradises of Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, and Fenwick Island. As of 2019, market analysts deemed the state a seller’s market, although large, high-end homes were selling more slowly.
The average size of a house in Florida is about 1,694 square feet or less, depending on your source. While this is somewhat lower than the national average of roughly 1,760 square feet, Florida remains a popular real estate market. This year is set to be a seller’s market in Florida, as the number of active listings isn’t keeping up with demand, according to Mashvisor.
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One of the top 10 states for big houses, Georgia’s average home is 1,963 square feet. Your hard-earned money will stretch further in Georgia, because home prices and the cost of living are lower than in other states. For instance, the median house price in Georgia is $186,500, compared with $231,200 nationally.
Perhaps not surprising for a notoriously expensive paradise with limited land, Hawaii comes in dead last in the nation in terms of house size. The average home size of 1,309 square feet may seem tiny, particularly when compared with the average size of new construction nationwide, which is 2,500 square feet and rising, but the beautiful climate and stunning surroundings no doubt compensate for the lack of space. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny, though: Median home costs in Hawaii are upwards of $600,000.
In Idaho, potatoes aren't the only things that are big: The average house is 1,932 square feet, which puts the state in the top 10 for home size in the nation. Why this penchant for bigger homes? Higher incomes and better credit scores have something to do with it, explains Randy Gridley of Idaho’s Silvercreek Realty Group.
Keeping up with the Joneses is a real phenomenon in the United States, and that principle may be part of what's pushing up home sizes nationwide. In Illinois, the average home size is a moderate (by U.S. standards) 1,632 square feet, although new builds are much larger. That said, size alone may not be the primary driver: “For most buyers, the conversation isn't about square footage. It's about their room needs,” reports Mary Ellen Podmolik in the Chicago Tribune.
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With an overall positive outlook for Indiana’s housing market in 2020, there is strong buyer demand—and decreasing supply. Average home size in this state is 1,742 square feet, and house prices continue to surge thanks to a seller’s market. The amount of residential construction is relatively low in Indiana, however, and analysts warn that more affordable family-size homes need to be built.
Houses in Iowa average 1,550 square feet, although that relatively low figure may soon be climbing. In Des Moines, the state capital, new zoning laws make it harder to build small houses (less than 1,100 square feet), and easier to build family homes upwards of 1,800 square feet. With the average home in the state capital at a low 1,253 square feet, the new laws aim to protect and increase property prices, and provide larger homes for families.
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Kansas homes are pretty close to the national average, coming in at 1,782 square feet for a three-bedroom home. In the Kansas City metro area's fast-paced real estate market, homes are selling fast—faster than in Dallas, Denver, and Nashville, according to the Kansas City Star. As is the case in many states, high demand and low inventory are driving up housing prices and creating a seller’s market in Kansas.
As of 2017, the average size of a new home in some parts of Kentucky was decreasing, bucking the national trend. Statewide, the average house size of 1,750 square feet is also a bit lower than the national average. As in much of the United States, affordable housing and new construction is not keeping pace with demand in Kentucky. But there may be other factors at work holding average sizes down: “We know that as more and more Baby Boomers retire, they are downsizing their housing accommodations,” notes Tre Pryor of Louisville Home Trends. “This will greatly affect [house size] numbers.”
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The average home in Louisiana is a midsize 1,786 square feet, and the real estate market isn't particularly competitive, which should work to hold down both home sizes and prices. Houses can take more than 100 days to sell and may go for 9 percent less than advertised. That said, new home construction continues to grow in the state, especially in larger cities like Baton Rouge. If you are looking to buy, Louisiana offers affordable options. For example, a 2,500-square-foot home went for an average price of $232,500 in 2019.
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Slightly smaller than average, the typical home in Maine is 1,663 square feet, which mirrors sizes in many Northeastern states. Maine’s residents are embracing a trend toward smaller houses in general, in an effort to save electricity and help the planet. The state’s housing market had been going strong until recently, when the global coronavirus pandemic hit the real estate market hard, leaving cancelled open houses and wary buyers in its wake.
Homeowners in the Maryland area like a little more space, as evidenced by the average home size of 1,920 square feet. If you have $300,000 to spend on a home, you'll probably have to settle for something slightly smaller—maybe around 1,820 square feet. But that smaller house would still seem massive in comparison with the average post-WWII suburban home, which came in at 850 square feet.
With an average size of 1,744 square feet, houses in Massachusetts reflect the Northeastern tendency toward smaller, older houses. While average home sizes have increased 11 percent in Boston since 1910, the city's population density and limited land have led to its having the smallest homes in the nation.
Reports from West Michigan back in 2015 indicate a definite preference for big homes—upwards of 2,000 square feet. This is evidence that, although the average home size in the state is a meager 1,530 square feet, families are looking for more expansive “forever homes,” places where they can put down roots for decades, if not generations.
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When the housing bubble burst during the Great Recession of 2008, big houses lost ground to smaller, more affordable units. But by 2014, big was back. Minnesota is part of this trend toward larger homes, with current home sizes averaging 1,828 square feet. “There are people who don’t want really huge houses, but the reality is everybody wants a lot in their home, so they tend to creep up in size,” says Teresa St. Amant, a Twin Cities architectural designer.
Mississippi homes tend to be large—1,879 square feet on average—and relatively inexpensive, giving good value to home buyers. Are you looking for a house of 3,400 or more square feet? In Mississippi, that would set you back about $300,000. Compare this with Hawaii, where $300,000 will get you only 625 square feet.
If you're in the market for a cozy family home with three bedrooms and two baths, Missouri may be the state for you. With an average home size of about 1,650 square feet, the state offers what many Americans are seeking: enough elbow room, without too much upkeep. Missouri is also one of the more affordable places in the nation to buy a house, with a median home price of $162,464.
The median size for homes within Bozeman city limits is about 1,790 square feet, just a bit over the national average, and a typical home includes three bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The statewide average, however, is much larger, reaching 2,040 square feet, which means Montana comes in fourth in home size among U.S. states. The median price for a Montana home is around $250,000.
The average home size in Nebraska is 1,714 square feet, and the median list price of a home in the state is about $227,000. In smaller suburban communities, the average home size is slightly larger than the statewide average, and pricing works out to about $85 per square foot.
The average Nevada home has gone from modest to jumbo since the beginning of the 20th century—home size increased by 191 percent in Las Vegas alone. Way back in the early 1900s, the average home size in the state was a teeny, tiny 800 square feet.
New Hampshire teems with wilderness areas, but all that space doesn’t necessarily translate into an abundance of McMansions. The average square footage of homes in the state is about 1,768, which puts it close to the national average.
In keeping with the smaller sizes in the Northeast, the average home size in New Jersey is 1,740 square feet. But house prices in the Garden State are on the high end of the countrywide average, with the median hovering around $359,000.
Homes are generally larger in the Southwest, and New Mexico is no exception, with an average size of 1,838 square feet and a median listing price of around $239,000. That doesn’t mean all houses are modest and affordable, of course. There are plenty of luxury properties in New Mexico, including sprawling abodes that cost well over $4-million.
Did you expect New York to have the smallest average home size? Think again! While people are often clamoring for square footage in New York City, the rest of the state isn’t nearly as cramped. Homes in New York average a reasonable 1,764 square feet, extremely close to the nationwide average. Unsurprisingly, home size in the metropolis has decreased markedly since the 1910s—by 11 percent, according to PropertyShark.
Homes in North Carolina average 1,800 square feet, and you'll pay around $272,000 for a typical house. That said, in some counties, the average size is significantly larger than the state average. What takes up the extra square footage in those roomier homes? Often, the extra space is dedicated to recreation.
The average home size in North Dakota is 1,788 square feet, which is just a bit above the nationwide average. The median price for a three- to four-bedroom home is around $235,000, and pricing for an average-size home is relatively steady across the state.
The typical Ohio residence has around 1,620 square feet of space, putting Ohio in the bottom five in terms of home size nationwide. But it's important to note that even the smallest average in the United States is much bigger than in most other countries. In China, the average home is a snug 500 square feet!
Folks in Oklahoma have a smidge more floor space than their friends back east in Massachusetts, with an average square footage of 1,746; both fall in the bottom half of the ranking. In the Sooner State, the average three-bedroom home will cost you about $189,000.
The average house in Oregon has about 1,780 square feet of space, which puts the state above the national average. But to really appreciate the trend toward larger houses, look toward Portland. New homes in Portland are now 20 percent bigger than they were in 1910, and as would be expected, average home prices are higher within Portland city limits, and even higher for new builds.
The average square footage of homes in Pennsylvania is 1,700. (If only it were 1,600, what a coincidence that would be!) The median home price in the state is about $194,000.
The average home size in Rhode Island is 1,688 square feet, one of the smallest averages along the East Coast. You can find a renovated home with three bedrooms for around $329,000, but of course, location is everything!
The average home size in South Carolina is a fairly generous 1,846 square feet, and the median list price is $185,000. Not surprisingly, the closer you get to the beach, the higher the listing price. You'll get more bang for your buck if you're willing to move inland.
On average, South Dakotans have more room than their neighbors to the north, with an average square footage of 1,984. Houses here are also much more affordable than in other states, with a median price around $169,000.
In Tennessee, the average size of a home is 1,848 square feet, and chances are you won’t have much trouble finding an affordable home with even more space. The median listing is priced at about $253,000.
As you would expect in a state where everything is supersized, Texas ranks toward the top in home size. The average square footage of a home in Texas is about 2,031, with a median price point of just under $175,000. The state has seen a significant increase in home size over the last century, with the biggest percentage increase occurring in San Antonio, which has seen a 95 percent jump in average home size since the 1910s.
Utah has the highest average home size in the United States, at 2,305 square feet. Utah also boasts a whopping median of four bedrooms for the typical real estate listing. Despite the impressive average home size, the median home price in the state is a reasonable $219,900.
The average home size in Vermont is approximately 1,815 square feet, with a median price of around $270,000. In recent years, a boom in tiny houses has taken off in Vermont, and the state even hosts a Tiny House Fest each October.
There is a lot to love about Virginia, with its rich history and mountainous landscape. Add to its list of charms the fact that the average home size is a healthy 1,896 square feet, and it becomes a tempting destination. Looking to buy? The median cost of a home in the state is $325,000.
Washington’s average house size is 1,903 square feet, with median home prices hitting right around $259,000. According to PropertyShark, the average size of a new home in the state has ballooned. In Seattle, the average size has increased by 20 percent since the 1910s.
In a tie with Nebraska, homes in West Virginia average 1,714 square feet. If you’re interested in heading to the state, Niche.com lists Bethlehem, Tornado, and Boaz as the top three places to buy a house.
The average home in the state is fairly modest, with 1,669 square feet of space. According to the Realtor.com ranking, Wisconsin is among the 10 states with the smallest average house size. Lot sizes, however, tend to be very large.
The average home size in Wyoming is 2,052 square feet, the third largest average in the nation. The ample home sizes may well have something to do with the fact that Wyoming is the least populated state in the nation, which gives people plenty of room to spread out. As in most states, however, the median number of bedrooms is three.
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