The HUD/Census Bureau residential construction report for July 2016 brought good news as far as housing starts, which exceeded expectations. July may have seen an uptick in the number of new single-family homes being built—but these houses appear to be getting smaller, according to the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design report for Q2.
The Census report, combined with analysis from the National Association of Home Builders, found that the median average square floor area declined from 2 thousand 465 square feet to 2 thousand 392 square feet from Q1 to Q2 and the average size of a newly constructed single-family home fell from 2 thousand 658 to 2 thousand 616 square feet for the same period.
Industry experts have determined that if the housing market follows its current trajectory, the median home price in the U.S. will be equal to that of prices before the housing crisis by 2017. A recent report from Zillow, though, cautions correlating prices returning to these levels with market recovery. The report states that instead of this milestone meaning recovery, it still means that home prices are well below what they would be if the housing bubble and crisis had never occurred but instead grown at historic norms.