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If you’re buying new this year, your choice in homes may skew slightly smaller.

That’s because, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), homes keep shrinking. In the past four years, the average build downsized, and now clocks in at 2,520 square feet, with fewer rooms. Goodbye to the once-popular three-bathroom, four-bedroom layout, and cavernous garages for three (or more!) vehicles.

Despite less space, though, builders expect to pack in:

  • A laundry room
  • Low-emissivity (“low-e”) windows
  • A master bedroom walk-in closet

Notably, low-e windows, which are designed to let in light but also block heat, represent a trend. According to the NAHB, demand for energy-efficient features is up, but with exceptions. ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances and programmable thermostats? Yep. Cork flooring or geothermal heat pumps? Pass.

Overall, buyers care more about conveniences than square footage, NAHB says, preferring a smaller space, but with all the bells and whistles—like hardwood, a patio and a walk-in pantry—over a bigger home lacking their must-haves.

Compared to an existing home, they’ll pay for it, too. According to Commerce Department figures, the average build costs $384,500.

For more 2020 home trends, check out:

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s senior online editor. RISMedia is the residential real estate industry’s definitive source for news and information. Email Suzanne your real estate news ideas at