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Entry-level Homes Making a Comeback

Submitted by Sean D. Sullivan, Living Stone Construction Inc.

Entry Level HomeWaist size. College tuition. Kidney stones. Many things in life don’t get better as they grow bigger. Often times, the best things comes in small(er) packages.

In recent years, the tiny-home trend has taken that philosophy to the extreme. But it hasn’t quite caught on with mainstream America. The overwhelming majority of home buyers still prefer to own an abode with ample space in which to live, relax and entertain.

The median size of homes built in 2015 was bigger than ever, and the portion of those homes with four or more bedrooms grew to 47 percent. But so far in 2016, the median home size appears to have reached a plateau, leveling off after several years of gradual growth.

In fact, the first half of 2016 saw median square footage of single-family homes decline — ever so slightly — from 2,465 to 2,392. Some might assume that any decline is a negative sign. However, economists know that this is a positive step in the post-recession cycle of economic recovery.

“History has shown us this pattern before when the country was recovering from previous recessions,” says NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “When the recession began, production of larger, high-end homes ramped up because the buyers of those homes typically had fewer credit constraints than the would-be buyers of more modest homes. But this recent decline in home size indicates that smaller homes are increasingly popping up as the economy strengthens and more entry-level buyers return to the market.”

An expanding market of entry-level homes in many areas of the country typically includes increased production of townhomes, which range considerably in size and price but are often times smaller and less expensive than single-family homes. Townhomes make up a relatively small share of the new homes being built, but what many of them offer — medium-density, “urban village” neighborhoods with conveniently located amenities — is very appealing to a large number of buyers from all age groups.

From large, custom homes to smaller, entry-level homes and everything in between, builders across the Asheville market are creating dream homes for their clients each and every day. Contact the Asheville HBA to learn more about the countless benefits of owning a new home.