The price per square foot of a U.S. home is higher than ever, according to a new report from Home Bay, an online publication that connects readers with expert real estate advice.
A new single-family home has a median square footage of 2,356 and a price of $397,100, making the median price per square foot $169. In 1980, the median price per SF was only $41 – an astronomical 310% less than today’s prices.
The study ranked the 50 most-populous U.S. metros by cost per square foot and found that the cities with the highest price per SF are:
1. San Jose ($801)
2. San Francisco ($656)
3. Los Angeles ($520)
4. San Diego ($494)
5. New York ($458)
The cities with the lowest price per SF are:
1. Memphis ($92)
2. Cleveland ($103)
3. Pittsburgh ($134)
4. Indianapolis (134)
5. Buffalo ($139)
In addition to having the lowest price per square foot, Memphis also has the largest square footage of homes of the cities on the list, at 2,630. Miami has the smallest square footage overall, at just 1,376.
For comparison, the national median square footage is 2,356, but only two metro areas (Memphis and Salt Lake City) come in higher than that. For home buyers looking for more space at a lower cost, suburban and rural areas win out.
Further, the data shows that home prices have skyrocketed in the past two years. Since 2020, the median sale price of single-family homes has exceeded overall inflation by 139%.
Although home prices are increasing rapidly, the good news is that home sizes are increasing, too. The median square footage of new single-family homes has increased 50% since 1980 (from 1,570 to 2,356 square feet), while the average number of people per household has slightly decreased (from 2.8 to 2.5), meaning Americans today have more space per person than previous generations.