Dom DiFurio6-minute read
PUBLISHED: June 27, 2023
Modern-day American boomtowns in the suburbs boast the largest homes in the country today, an analysis of Rocket HomesSM data reveals. These new homes are found in the highest concentrations in places where new homebuilding activity has soared in the last decade. Many of the places where the largest homes can be found are in the South and West, where sprawling land and bigger lots allow for larger homes to be built.
While some large homes signal the lifestyles of their well-off owners, they are also popular options for multigenerational or big families. A good portion of these homes were built because of long-term economic trends stemming from the last major recession more than 10 years ago.
Rocket Homes used internal listing data to see which cities have the largest share of big homes for sale so far this year. Cities were ranked on the average number of homes listed for sale each month that are 5,000 square feet or more per 100,000 residents. Data was available through March of 2023. San Francisco was not included in this analysis due to lack of data.
During the aftermath of the housing collapse in the late 2000s, builders got accustomed to building more luxury homes since those were among the housing stock most likely to sell. Higher-income home buyers who weathered the Great Recession were among the first to jump back into the housing market and were able to qualify for loans under stricter lending standards.
By 2021, the typical new, single-family home was 2,273 square feet, according to the latest Census data – about 1 1/2 times the size of a home built in the 1970s. However, that's down from the 2015 peak of 2,467 square feet. Now with housing inventory at historic lows and interest rates still rising, buyers need to put their best foot forward when chasing their dream.
Read on to see if cities near you make the ranking.
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Tampa's population has grown in recent years as Americans from other states have flocked south to Florida seeking warm weather and retirement opportunities in a state that has historically offered a lower cost of living. In 2020, the city recorded 115 new arrivals every day and it's maintained its spot as a top domestic migration destination, according to Rocket Mortgage® research.
Frisco is a suburb north of Dallas often associated with family-centric, suburban lifestyles. The urban crawl that has crept north has been a boon for Frisco, which was recently selected for an experimental new multibillion-dollar, family-centric Universal Studios park. The availability of large, affordably priced homes has made this city one of the poster children of the "McMansion" trend.
Tennessee is among the American states whose population has skyrocketed since the pandemic sent workers home in 2020. Knoxville isn't as densely populated as the more popular Nashville, and it's close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Raleigh has been growing as a top destination for Americans looking to move to world-class cities over the last decade. The capital city boasts easy access to Raleigh-Durham International Airport as well as a booming local economy. It was named one of the top five cities for economic development this year.
Denver's housing market has proved resilient during the price correction of the last 6 months, even posting larger-than-typical price gains at the start of the year. Denver offers quick access to any number of ski resorts and scenic hiking destinations as well as highly sought-out entertainment options like the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
The Charleston area is seeing new development as it continues to grow, including mixed-use residential and commercial developments like The Hub at Nexton. The city also features access to the Port of Charleston used by cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
Savannah, like other big cities, is experiencing a housing shortage – but not when it comes to its large homes. Savannah offers more lush green land than urban Atlanta and access to coastal communities, award-winning seafood and national parkland.
The best part about the real estate market in Las Vegas is that builders have fewer natural geographic boundaries, and housing developments can sprawl out into the surrounding desert landscape. The most common types of houses in wide-open Las Vegas are three- and four-bedroom single-family homes.
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Miami is home to a number of large home listings for those who can afford to buy there. Home sales activity has fallen for a year straight in Miami-Dade County, and yet housing prices are still setting records due to lower inventory levels.
Just outside of Las Vegas, Henderson offers humbling views of nearby mountain ranges and Lake Las Vegas. It also sits in close proximity to Vegas' casinos and nightlife. The city is a part of Clark County, where one in three residents spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Oregon has an above-average unemployment rate compared to the rest of the U.S. and is experiencing a shortage of affordable housing that's risen to acute levels since the pandemic. However, Portland offers beautiful Pacific Northwest views at a fraction of the cost required for a similar-sized home in nearby Seattle.
This Kansas City metro area suburb is one of the most populous parts of the state for a reason – it offers easy access to downtown in addition to more space for residential neighborhoods, according to a Kansas City Star guide for Kansas residents. Overland Park carries the cheapest median price on large listings in this ranking.
Alexandria has grown from an outcropping of the Washington D.C. metro area into a world-renowned city. Neighboring national landmarks like the Pentagon, the city offers some of the largest average square footage in large home listings in this ranking.
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Atlanta's booming job market and ability to attract tech employers over the last decade have made it a top destination for Americans looking to start fresh. Would-be buyers may want to wait, however, as a recent study from Florida Atlantic University found Atlanta to be the most overpriced real estate market in the country.
Similar to the Las Vegas area, homebuilders in Scottsdale are limited only by surrounding mountains and breathtaking landscapes well-suited for larger homes. Scottsdale is known for its Palm Springs-like resort scene and numerous golf courses.
Data reporting by Elena Cox. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Lacy Kerrick.
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Using data, Rocket Homes ranked the highest-earning ZIP codes in each state based on 2021 median income.
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