In L.A., Properties Develop As Residences Shrink

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In Los Angeles, single-family homes are getting bigger as the residential life increases. After research by Yardis warehouse cafeThe average single-family home size rose to 3,296 square feet, an increase from 196 square feet over the past decade. On the other hand, apartments have decreased in size over the same period. The average Los Angeles apartment is 808 square feet, down from 41 square feet over the past decade.

"Living big has always been seen as one of the perks of the California lifestyle." Francis Chantree from Storage Café, tells GlobeSt.com. "Many people look for space in their housing decisions – especially in the current circumstances when homes have multiple roles to play, including workspace and entertainment – and demand drives building trends."

While homes have continued to grow in size, they have grown more slowly over the past decade, partly due to local building restrictions. "Single-family homes have grown in size over the past decade, albeit at a much slower pace than in previous decades," says Chantree. The city introduced regulations restricting their size in 2008, and in 2017 the maximum house size was further limited from 50% to 45% of the total property. "

However, the growth of single family homes is outpacing the nationwide increase in apartment size. "This is actually only slightly larger than the 5.7% nationwide increase over the same period, with an average of 143 square feet added to bring it to an average of 2,611 square feet," says Chantree. "Building larger single-family homes is a trend across the country and LA is always ahead of the trend."

On the other hand, smaller apartments have been a strategy to force more housing into a tight and underserved market. "Apartment types like maisonettes, multiplexes and bungalow courts are common in some cities, but less so in LA," says Chantree. “With a limited inventory of low-rise, multi-unit buildings, the multi-family sector has sought to respond to the need for more living space as the area continues to attract more people, many of whom prefer to live in apartments close to work and entertainment. In order to do justice to all these newcomers who are looking for accessibility and quality of life, apartments have been built in smaller and higher buildings. McMansions are still popular with Angelinos who can afford them, but those who appreciate the location and amenities above the plaza have plenty of options in LA as well. "

However, the larger size of single family homes has made home ownership inaccessible for many LA residents. “The increase in the size of single-family homes in LA has made home ownership more difficult for a number of people there. You now need a little more than $ 100,000 on a 20 percent down payment to buy a single family home in LA that is similar to most other parts of California, ”says Chantree.

The pandemic could make larger homes even more desirable. “Despite economic constraints, the pandemic could well increase the aspirations of home buyers – they have had to stay at home so much that they will surely appreciate extra space – and that may not reduce the demand for large homes, albeit at affordable prices. Says Chantree. "Crucially, the changes brought about by the pandemic can increase the number of units that fall into what is known as the 'missing center' category so that residents can have a good alternative to the lifestyle of a large house or a tiny apartment."

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