ActivePaper Archive In Dallas housing, square footage adds up - The Dallas Morning News, 2016-08-04


In Dallas housing, square footage adds up

Area is No. 2 in size of luxury dwellings, No. 3 for move-up homes


G.J. McCarthy/Staff Photographer

Luxury homes in the Dallas area are a median 2,945 square feet, second to Colorado Springs with a median of more than 3,000 square feet.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, so the saying goes.

It’s certainly true when it comes to houses. Dallas and other Texas big city markets have some of the largest houses in the country.

Of the 10 U.S. markets with the biggest houses, six are in Texas, according to a new report by Trulia.

“Every major market in the Lone Star State — Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — offers large homes for all buyers,” writes Trulia’s Ralph McLaughlin.

The Dallas area has the second-largest luxury homes in the country, with a median size of 2,945 square feet. Only Colorado Springs has bigger houses, with a median of more than 3,000 square feet.

Dallas ranks third nationally for the biggest move-up homes, with a median size of 1,900 square feet.

Only Houston, at 1,997 square feet, and Colorado Springs, at 1,908, have bigger trade-up houses.

Austin has the biggest starter houses in the country, with a median size of 1,428 square feet.

It’s no secret that America’s homes have been getting steadily larger the last couple of decades.

Ted Wilson of Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies said the average new home in North Texas is about 2,874 square feet and sells for $379,415.

“Since this new housing cycle commenced five years ago, the focus has been on move-up buyers with stronger credit scores,” Wilson said. “The very low mortgage rates allowed these households with good credit to purchase a lot more house for the money, so the trend was for bigger, more expensive homes.”

As new home prices soar in the D-FW area and if mortgage costs go up, new house in the area may go on a diet, he said. “We might start to see the average house size start to shrink again in response to the affordability issues and increased demand at the entry-level price points.”

Average new home sizes in the U.S. last year were at a record high of 2,721 square feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“Size matters,” McLaughlin said. “As we reported last year, 43 percent of Americans told us they would like a larger home.

“The desire to upsize was even greater for millennials, with more than 60 percent wanting more living space.”

Not all markets are dominated by big houses.

The U.S. markets with the smallest homes include Detroit, Minneapolis, Honolulu and Wichita, according to Trulia.

Twitter: @SteveBrownDMN