Before COVID-19, homes had many roles, but serving as a workspace was niche. Now, the new reality requires our homes to double as entertainment and working spaces, with nearly half of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time. Phoenix may be one of the best-prepared places for a digital economy, but is local housing prepared to respond to the increasing need for space? Not so much, it would seem, at least when compared to other booming urban hubs around the country. 

STORAGECafé’s most recent report that looked at home size evolution in the past decade shows that Phoenix has been building considerably smaller houses and apartments.

Here are some key findings from the study:

• Contrary to the national trend, newly built single-family homes in Phoenix have been experiencing a considerable shrinkage — homes built in 2019 are the smallest of the past decade, 2,386 square feet, compared to 2,553 square feet in 2010. Phoenix lost the 3rd most square footage in the nation in the past 10 years, namely 167 square feet.

• Phoenix apartments followed the same path, losing 75 square feet from 2010 to 2019. Apartments built in 2019 offer on average 869 square feet, which gives Phoenix a place in the middle of the pack in the top 20 largest US cities in our analysis.

• However, Phoenix residents can turn to self-storage to make room for more activities at home. The city has a decent 5.5 square feet worth of storage space per capita, with average street rates ranging around $104 for a standard, 10×10 self-storage unit.

You can find the full study and methodology, as well as what experts are saying about the future of housing in the US, here:

Small space living is often seen as a solution that allows for more affordable and efficient living in desirable locations. But will developers be able to find a middle ground between building as many homes as possible for the ever growing population and the need for more space at home that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth?