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From tiny houses to multi-tiered mega mansions, homebuyer preferences have swung from one extreme to the other over the course of the past three years.
Minimalism and simplicity were all the rage before the pandemic until buyers suddenly realized they needed more space to fulfill their quarantine needs.
As the world adjusts, some buyers may be re-evaluating — and deciding they have too much space. To that end, Realtor.com researchers have identified the cities with the biggest and smallest homes on the market, including properties averaging a whopping 4,857 square feet in Greenwich, Connecticut, and condo units 30 miles south in Queens, New York, clocking in at under 800 square feet.
Indeed, every kind of home, for every kind of homebuyer, seems to be on the market right now, according to Realtor.com Senior Economist George Ratiu.
“The places that boast the country’s largest average homes tend to be clustered in higher-priced communities either near bigger economic centers or in outdoors destinations,” Ratiu said. “On the flip side of the coin, cities [with] average home sizes [that] skew toward the smaller end are located in geographically constrained locations, where natural boundaries meet high-density development.”
However, older communities in the Northeast originally developed for blue collar workers are largely made up of smaller homes. And newer developments created more recently often have larger footprints because they were built for white collar workers commuting into more densely packed cities.
Without further ado, these are the cities with the largest and smallest homes for sale — right now — according to Realtor.com’s analysis.
Markets with the largest homes for sale
1. Greenwich, Connecticut
Median list price: $3.1 million
Median square footage: 4,857
Greenwich is located just outside of New York City — not far from the countries tiniest loft in Queens — and remains a popular outpost for the city’s hedge fund managers, corporate executives and celebrities.
The town boasts two of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country, both of which hailed as enclaves where the elite of the early 20th century showed off their vast wealth with the help of ostentatious real estate.
Over the past few decades, a construction boom has added more extra-large homes to the mix, Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel noted in Realtor.com’s analysis. During the pandemic, those homes rose in popularity.
2. Cordova, Tennessee
Median list price: $340,000
Median square footage: 3,888
Located 30 minutes outside of Memphis, homes in Cordova are unusually large and frequently cost just a fraction of the price of many homes in more affluent areas of the country.
At a median price of $118 per square foot, the cost of homes in the city are about half the cost per square foot of the nationwide median, according to Realtor.com.
3. Castle Rock, Colorado
Median list price: $709,975
Median square footage: 3,635
Castle Rock is another commuter town, located about 30 miles south of Denver.
With its picturesque rock formations and close proximity to other major cities, the town has drawn a number of residents in recent years, causing the population to double since 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those new residents have necessitated new homes and subdivisions to be built in recent years, and residents are able to get those homes at a price per square foot of about 40 percent less than in Denver.
4. Prosper, Texas
Median list price: $812,000
Median square footage: 3,347
This relatively new suburb located about 40 minutes outside of Dallas has Texas-sized homes that are often located in master-planned communities that include ample amenities.
The area is continuing to be developed, which means buyers who move there have the option of a new home at prices that may even seem reasonable, given their size, like this 2021-built 3,108-square-foot home listed for $650,000.
5. Big Sky, Montana
Median list price: $3.175 million
Median square footage: 3,293
Ski towns like Big Sky tend to attract groups of people who want to travel and ski together, Callie Pecunies of Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty told Realtor.com.
That’s one reason why the town has so many large properties to accommodate groups who want to visit. In the early 2000s, the town experienced a big boom in popularity as more private clubs moved in and attracted wealthy second homebuyers, who in turn were looking for big homes to host friends and family.
The remaining top 10 cities with the biggest homes:
6. Southampton, New York
7. Herriman, Utah
8. Windermere, Florida
9. Carmel, Indiana
10. Overland Park, Kansas
Markets with the smallest homes for sale
1. Long Island City, New York
Median list price: $900,000
Median square footage: 762
Not to be confused with Long Island, Long Island City is a dense neighborhood in Queens that evolved from an industrial district historically to a more upscale district with chic high-rise condos and apartments starting in the early 2000s.
Today, the area can easily command a one-bedroom loft spanning just 713 square feet for $899,000.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
Median list price: $705,000
Median square footage: 929
Honolulu has long been known as a pricey locale, and at a median price per square foot of $724, it’s even more expensive than Greenwich.
The city’s desirability among residents and vacationers alike, as well as its geographical limitations of being on an island help jack that price up. A 565-square-foot condo in the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach Tower is currently listed for $700,000.
3. Miami Beach, Florida
Median list price: $654,944
Median square footage: 1,003
Miami Beach has many of the same draws and limitations that have allowed real estate in the area to increase in price while maintaining a small footprint.
But in addition to factors like limited land area and a draw from beaches and tourism, Miami Beach’s resort town was largely developed between the 1920s to 1950s, and at that time, hotels and apartments were typically smaller.
4. Ocean City, Maryland
Median list price: $475,000
Median square footage: 1,085
Ocean City’s older and larger homes of days gone by were largely divided and converted into condos after the 1960s, once the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was completed and people had easier access to the beach, Realtor.com’s analysis notes.
That led to more tourism and more compact condos, like a 1,098-square-foot condo currently offered at $399,900.
5. Flint, Michigan
Median list price: $69,900
Median square footage: 1,092
Flint has battled a number of crises in recent years that have contributed to population declines, like the water crisis the city is still fighting and the decline of the town’s automotive industry.
Because the population continues to drop, there hasn’t been much new construction, and most of the town’s housing stock is dated to the midcentury, when tract homes were constructed by General Motors.
The remaining top 10 cities with the smallest homes:
6. Jersey City, New Jersey
7. Des Moines, Iowa
8. Boston, Massachusetts
9. Long Beach, California
10. Washington, D.C.