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Atlanta is Home To Second-Largest Starter Homes in the U.S.

Homebuyers want homes that are bigger, bigger and bigger.  Except of course, when they don’t.

There seem to be simultaneous movements toward larger homes and smaller ones, sometimes in the same market.

Atlanta has second-largest starter homes photo

But as the housing market continues to put distance between itself and the painful crash of a decade ago, the median home has been getting large. And metro Atlanta is near the top in size.

But perhaps just as critically: when it comes to price-per-square foot, Atlanta is nowhere near the top.

First, about size.

According to a report out today from Trulia, we are number two in the nation when it comes to square footage in starter homes.

The median starter home in metro Atlanta is 1,344 square feet, Trulia said in its report. Among the largest 100 American metros, Austin is the city with a larger starter than Atlanta: 1,428 square feet.

The smallest starter home is typically in metro Honolulu: a mere 713 square feet. Heck, there’s a semi-tiny home in Lawrenceville that is bigger than that. Second-smallest is Detroit, perhaps for different reasons, at 945 square feet.

Trulia is an online residential real estate site.

In its report, Trulia cites a survey showing 43 percent of Americans want a larger home. Among millennials, that desire swells to 60 percent.

But that leaves a lot of people wanting something else. Moreover, building patterns differ from metro to metro. And there is surely a — pardon the pun — small part of the population that wants a more manageable, efficient, environmentally less burdensome – not to mention cheaper – home.

Some of that desire in reflected in the “tiny home” movement, which has started make its presence known in Atlanta.

Now, about price: the median in metro Atlanta for a starter home is $64.78 per square foot. That is the 79th most expensive, Trulia said.

At the top? San Francisco, where the median price of a starter home is $692.

Cheapest? Detroit, where the median price of a starter home is $34.44 per square foot.

The median cost of all homes in Atlanta is $91 per square foot, according to Trulia. That also ranks 79th. And yes, San Francisco tops the charts on this one as well. The media cost of all homes in the Bay Area is $818 per square foot.

Trulia also researched the size of a “trade-up” home, that is, a typical second home. In metro Atlanta, the media for the trade-up is 1,876 square feet. The largest second homes are in Houston, where the median is 1,997 square feet.

By comparison, the size of a second home in Honolulu is typically 1,300 square feet – the largest percentage jump from a starter to trade-up home.

For a busy, but colorful little chart with markers for metro prices in starter, trade-up and “premium” homes, click here.

Info courtesy of Michael Kanell at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Austin, TX 1,428

Atlanta, GA 1,344

Newark, NJ 1,330

Montgomery-Bucks-Chester County, PA 1,326

Houston, TX 1,320

Most costly starter homes, price per square foot:

San Francisco, CA $691.99

San Jose, CA $489.73

Honolulu, HI $477.07

Orange County, CA $366.01

Oakland, CA $310.63

Atlanta, GA $64.78

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