2023 Data: The Price per Square Foot for U.S. Homes Has Increased 368% Since 1980

Homes Are Getting Bigger AND More Expensive

The median square footage for U.S. homes has increased 52% since 1980, but the median sale price has increased 609% in the same time period.

Median Price per Square Foot by Metro Area | Metro Area Trends | Changes in Square Footage Over Time | How the Median Price per Square Foot Has Increased | Comparison to 2008 | Most Expensive ZIP Codes by Price per Square Foot | Price per Square Foot Calculator | Methodology | FAQ

In a world grappling with record-breaking heat waves, unexpected disruptions in global food supply chains, and the perplexing notion of extraterrestrial encounters, the escalating cost of living still stands as a tangible concern.

We’ve already found that soaring home prices are connected to exceeding inflation rates and the surge in homelessness. Now, we examine if Americans are actually paying more for more space and how the price per square foot of homes has evolved over time.

By analyzing evolving price-per-square-foot metrics, we discern how affordability has shifted over time, drawing parallels with the 2007-2008 financial crisis and highlighting the drastic difference between now and the 1980s. Our research aims to provide insights into the relationship between housing costs and the size of homes Americans can actually afford.

We analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Realtor.com. Prices and square footage are based on the most recent, comprehensive national data, which is from 2022. For the 50 most-populous metros, we used data through June 2023.