Yards Slim Down as House Size Grows

As the footprints of the average suburban home grows and lot sizes shrink, the traditional sprawling yard is getting squeezed out.
October 19, 2017, 9am PDT | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Iriana Shiyan

Felipe Chacon of Trulia finds that the sprawling, grassy backyard that we once knew may be a thing of the past. Writing in Trulia's Blog, Chacon reports that since 1975, homes have grown to occupy more of their lot area—from 13.9% in 1975 to 25% in 2015. This isn't just a matter of homes growing in size, however, as it's coupled with a reduction in the typical lot size.

For homes built since the start of 2015, the estimated footprint is 2,113 square feet (down from an all-time high of 2,125 in 2014) while the lot they are built on has shrunk to 8,940 square feet, or 0.2 acres, bringing lot usage up to a near-record high of 25%.

Trulia's analysis finds that the most lot usage for single family homes is occurring in San Francisco and Philadelphia, while the least amount of lot usage is occurring in three New England towns (Worcester, Massachusetts, Hartford, Connecticut, and Bridgeport, Connecticut).

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Published on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in Trulia
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