Where are the starter homes?

Green Escrow Services | Young Family

A recent article in the New York Times highlights an important facet of the nationwide housing crisis: starter homes are no longer being built. Homes that are affordable for young families just starting out or recent immigrants trying to get a foothold in their new country.

The reasons are many: land and building materials are much more expensive, rules and regulations are much stricter (and the fees higher).

Analysts say that one solution may be to go back to what starter homes looked like 100 years ago: duplexes and rowhouses.

Homes are getting bigger

Green Escrow | Real Estate Market News

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median single-family home in America is now 2,337 square feet. Most cite the pandemic as a catalyst as families are now using the home for work and study as well as living space.

Existing homeowners have been remodeling and expanding during the pandemic. Realtor.com defines a “starter home” as one that is less than 1,850 square feet. The supply of starter homes has declined by more than 50 percent in the last five years with only 300,000 available for sale in September 2021. The price for such a home is now 11 percent higher than a year ago.