As the housing market slowly builds momentum, a greater number prospective buyers are once again purchasing larger properties.
In the wake of the real estate bubble burst, many consumers became more frugal and subsequently purchased homes with fewer square feet. However, recent economic stability and record low interest rates have reversed this trend, according to the American Institute of Architects.
During the first quarter, the average square footage of a newly built home increased 8 percent from the previous year. In addition, real estate records indicates that the average lot size grew 5 percent, the report said. The specific interest in larger lots is the result of more households putting outdoor living space at the top of their must have lists when purchasing property.
"In the last few years, outdoor living spaces have become the new 'great room' in terms of must have items for homeowners," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker.
Many homeowners are developing their properties to suit their long-term needs, rather than spending money to get the most out of their investment should they ever choose to sell, Baker added. Specifically, there is extra attention being paid to landscaping, as well as amenities that help families save on energy costs, such as solar panels and rainwater catchment systems.