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After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the start of 2017. This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, including growth for townhouses, typical new home size is expected to decline. According to first quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,389 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,628 square feet.

Total housing starts declined in April after strong early months in 2017. Total starts were down almost 3%, falling to a 1.172 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. This decrease was due to a multifamily production decline, although single-family permit activity was also softer than expected in April.