Monday, September 12, 2022 / by Juan Grimaldo
Arizona has some of the smallest average home lot sizes in the country
For some folks, a larger home lot just means more area to maintain, but given the choice, most homeowners prefer a bigger backyard and a little more land between themselves and their neighbors.
But lot sizes in the Valley and statewide are shrinking, and a new study reveals that Arizona is among the states with the smallest lots per square foot.
Angi, an online home services company, estimated the average lot size in each state and major metro based on more than 390,000 single-family home listings from Zillow.
When it comes to lot size, the Grand Canyon State has the third-smallest lot average area in the nation. The study found that the typical lot size in Arizona is a mere 8,726 square feet.
That’s more than five Olympic-size swimming pools smaller than Vermont, which has the nation’s largest lots, at 78,409 square feet on average. Lots in Arizona are also almost an acre smaller than second-ranked New Hampshire, where the typical lot size is 49,223 square feet.
Nevada had the nation’s smallest lots, with a typical size of 7,405 square feet. California also came in with smaller lot sizes than Arizona, with a slightly smaller 8,327 square feet.
The Angi study offers a couple of explanations: Many Vermont towns have strict zoning laws that set minimum lot sizes to preserve low population density and protect environmentally sensitive areas. By contrast, in Nevada as in Arizona, rapid housing growth and dry land encourage compact lawns.
Want larger lots? Try Prescott Valley
Turning to metro areas, Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler ranked 94th in the nation, with a typical lot size of 7,985 square feet.
That's less than a cornhole court smaller than the typical lot size in Tucson, which ranked 90th, at 8,276 square feet.
Bucking the trend for Arizona was the Prescott Valley-Prescott metro area, where lot sizes were 17,896 square feet, the largest in Arizona and the 15th-largest of all U.S. cities.
Denser cities with more expensive homes tend to have smaller lots, the Angi study notes. In San Francisco, where the typical home is $888,500, the average lot size is just 6,098 square feet — the smallest of any U.S. metro area. In Bridgeport, Conn., where the typical home is $433,000, the typical lot is 43,560 square feet, the largest of any metro area.
In terms of bang for your buck, Arizona lots are still relatively affordable, with prices averaging $60.39 per square foot statewide, which was higher than the national average of around $50 per square foot.
In Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, the typical lot costs $72.70 per square foot, the most expensive in the state. In Tucson, lots were $50.63 per square foot.
And in keeping with the trend found in the report that where lots are larger land is also cheaper, the typical lot price in Prescott Valley-Prescott was $37.58 per square foot. That was the cheapest among the Arizona cities in Angi's report.
Nationwide, typical lot prices ranged from $253.13 per square foot in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara to $10.60 per square foot in Flint, Michigan.
Newer homes, generally speaking, have smaller lots nationwide. The average lot size for a new-construction single-family home shrank from 18,760 per square foot in 1978 to a record low of 13,896 square feet in 2020, according to Census Bureau data cited by Angi.
The Phoenix Business Journal contributed to this report.
Written by Bill Hethcock – Senior Reporter, Dallas Business Journal