Are Homes Getting Smaller in Huntsville, Alabama?
New construction homes are getting smaller nationally and here locally in Huntsville, Alabama.
The square footage of new homes has been at its lowest level in the last decade. Take a look at the chart at the 00:20 mark in the video above. The average is now 2,472 square feet, this is down from a high of nearly 2,700 square feet where things seem to have peaked around the 2015 time frame. They were starting to go back up during the pandemic with more people working from home and needing extra space. However, the square footage of new homes is continuing that downward trajectory. The average is about 2,472 square feet which is still up over the last couple of decades, in 2000 we were at about 2200 square feet.
The recent pullback is likely due to affordability. The housing affordability index dipped below 100 in Huntsville, it's been well above 100 for the last several years. Quick reminder, a score of 100 means the average income can afford the average price range home in Huntsville. That is no longer the case as it's dipped slightly below 100. The recent pullbacks are likely due to higher prices and higher interest rates, which is creating that lower affordability effect here in Huntsville.
On a national level, the three main trends that we're seeing in new construction is lower square footage, smaller yards, and either smaller garages or no garage. We’re certainly seeing the smaller yards of new constructions here in the Huntsville area. The trend of either a one-car garage or no car garage has fortunately not become mainstream here in Huntsville. We're still seeing a lot of two-car garages and even three-car garages on some of the larger homes.
Bright Side to Smaller Homes
The good news is affordability. Obviously, a smaller home is going to help produce more affordability for you, the buyer. It also has less maintenance costs and less utility costs as well. With inflation being high like it is, I do think that this is going to be a trend that we continue to see with new construction homes being smaller and smaller. However, I do think we might see a slight uptick if we see interest rates dropping by a point or even a couple of points over the next couple of years.
Remember, renting is still 100% interest. Even though you're getting a smaller home with new construction, you are still building up your net worth. Homeowners have 40x the net worth compared to renters, $255,000 versus only $6,300 for renters.Matt Curtis on