American homes today are larger than in our past. After World War II, construction of a national system of highways allowed homebuyers to gravitate to the suburbs where the size of homes began to grow.
The average single family American home grew from 909 square feet in 1949 to 2,480 square feet in 2021, according to research by American Home Shield, a home warranty company.
Its American Home Size Index uses data from Zillow to show the median home size in each state and in the nation’s 50 largest cities.
Curious to know where your home fits in? Read on to learn which states have the very smallest homes.
The average home size in this state: 1,803 square feet
American Home Shield’s study finds that Ohio homes are relatively small.
Its average home size of 1,803 square feet places Ohio in 10th position among the 10 states with the smallest homes.
In other rankings, U.S. News & World Report places Ohio at No. 36 among the states overall. And it ranks Ohio close to the top — at No. 6 in the nation — for opportunity.
The median income in the state? It’s $31,177, U.S. News reports.
The average home size in this state: 1,800 square feet
The median age of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. is 39 years, according to a 2021 study by the National Home Builders Association.
In Massachusetts, homes tend to be much older, and so it’s not surprising to find the state on this list of smallest homes. Massachusetts’ owner-occupied homes are the second-oldest in the country, with a median age of 56.
8. New Jersey
The average home size in this state: 1,753 square feet
New Jersey, one of the 13 original American colonies, played an important role in the country’s founding, the state’s official website, NJ.gov, says.
Another distinction for the state: It has the highest property tax rates in the nation, WalletHub reports in a 2022 article based on 2019 data.
7. West Virginia
The average home size in this state: 1,752 square feet
By the end of 2022, home prices in West Virginia had risen 2.6% compared with the same time in 2021, according to real estate company Redfin.
West Virginia’s median home price was $266,500 in December.
The average home size in this state: 1,726 square feet
Real estate markets in Michigan have not seen the rapidly escalating home values that some other markets have experienced in recent years, according to Michigan Radio, an NPR affiliate.
And last October, despite a 3% drop in the national median home value to $340,000, home prices in three Michigan cities — Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids — continued rising while prices were softer elsewhere in Michigan, the station says. Its data is from a report by real estate analysis company Attom.
The average home size in this state: 1,700 square feet
The problems affecting real estate around the country are having an effect in Illinois, too, says Real Advisor’s 2023 Illinois forecast.
The volume of home sales in the state in a three-year period peaked in June 2021 (at 21,041). By September 2022, the volume of home sales in a three-year period had fallen 34.9%, the report says.
The average home size in this state: 1,680 square feet
American Home Shield’s report finds that regions with newer homes tend to have larger residential structures. Older homes typically are smaller.
Maine’s housing is largely older. Characteristics of Housing in Maine, a 2019 report from the Maine Housing Authority, shows that 47.1% of homeowner-owned homes and 33.4% of rental homes in Maine were built after 1980. A slight majority of the state’s homes were built before 1980.
The average home size in this state: 1,623 square feet
The American Home Size Index notes that a preference for larger dwellings became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. It links “concerns over social distancing and remote work” to surges of urban residents into suburban and rural neighborhoods.
That trend was well-established before the pandemic, a Brookings Institute article shows.
But the movement from cities to smaller towns and rural areas was pronounced during the pandemic, with small towns attracting most of the moving residents, according to Stateline, a Pew publication.
In April 2022, however, Stateline reported that “in the past year, moving patterns largely have reverted to pre-pandemic trends.”
2. New York
The average home size in this state: 1,490 square feet
New York state has the oldest owner-occupied housing in the nation, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That, of course, means that much of it is small.
New York has the lowest rate of homeownership in the U.S., the state’s comptroller says. Although home ownership is quite high in many parts of the state, its statewide low rate is due to New York City, where 40% of the state’s residents live and where a lot of multi-family housing is found.
The average home size in this state: 1,164 square feet
Hawaii isn’t the smallest state (that’s Rhode Island). But it’s the eighth-smallest, according to the World Atlas.
At the end of 2022, a total of 4,760 homes were listed for sale in Hawaii — almost 12% fewer than at the same time the year before, Redfin says.