Delayed household formation and the costs associated with raising a child might keep family sizes down for millennials, but there are still plenty of modern families looking for new homes with extra places to put people. Beside the few still choosing to have several children, growth in multigenerational housing and millennials living with parents longer into their 20s are two more reasons why more space is desired. Although the traditional family size in the U.S. has shrunk overall, there is still at least some demand for space.
If buyers are in search of bedrooms and square footage, these 11 Census Bureau Statistical Areas (CBSAs) leave something to be desired. These markets are chosen by looking at new-home metrics from 2013 through the third-quarter of 2014 from Metrostudy. First, only those markets with new higher numbers of home sales—2,000 or more new homes closed in that seven quarter period—are included. Next, markets are filtered using a living space average less than 2,250 square feet, an average number of bedrooms less than or equal to 3.5, and bathrooms less than or equal to an average of 2.5. This compares to a 2013-2014 national average among CBSAs for new homes at 2,407 living square feet, 3.5 bedrooms, and 2.7 bathrooms. Markets also are filtered for median price per square foot at $125 and up to ensure markets very affordable to the big family buyer are not included in the worst, even if the space might be hard to find. Finally, the 11 markets that make the list are ranked by average living square feet, placing the smallest homes at the front of the worst new-home markets for big families.
Both the New York City and Boston metro areas make the top 10, which is no surprise. Strikingly, however, with a living square foot average at just 1,715 and three bedrooms, builders are not accommodating expanding families in Des Moines, Iowa.
Here, check out this interactive map showing CBSAs, home
sizes, and number of closings, and the table below for more
information on new home and family size in the 11 worst new-home markets for
Census Bureau Statistical Area
Avg. Living Square Feet
1. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
2. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
3. Bakersfield, CA
4. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
5. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
6. Oklahoma City, OK
7. Salt Lake City, UT
8. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
9. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
10. Salisbury, MD-DE
11. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC