Everything's bigger in Texas: Dallas, Austin, Houston in U.S. top 10 for home size

By Steve Brown Real Estate Editor Dallas Morning News

Published: 03 August 2016 01:45 PM

Updated: 03 August 2016 06:12 PM

Everything's supposed to be bigger in Texas — or so the old saying goes.

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

Out 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.

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

Only Houston, at 1,997 square and Colorado Springs, 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 during the last couple of decades.

Ted Wilson, with 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 rise, 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," says McLaughlin. "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.