Giving Up Square Footage for a Chance at Homeownership?

In another new article toasting National Homeownership Month, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a survey entitled “What Home Buyers Really Want, 2024 Edition” which overall found that due to high interest/mortgage rates and the recent double-digit increase in home prices, buyers are compromising their lot and home size requirements just to have a shot at getting into a home. 

“Buyers place a high value on homeownership and are prepared to make significant compromises to invest in their future,” said Carl Harris, chairman of NAHB and a custom home builder from Wichita, Kansas. “Home builders are willing to meet this demand but are hamstrung by a mix of regulatory burdens. Housing industry leaders are ready and willing to work with policymakers to find concrete solutions to help more families achieve the American Dream.” 

Nearly four out of 10 buyers would be willing to give up land in exchange for owning a home and more than a third (35%) will accept a smaller house if that’s what it takes to buy it. Yet, ineffective zoning plans seen nationwide make it harder and more expensive for builders to construct smaller homes on smaller plots of land. 

The 10-point housing plan

After the revelation of these results, the NAHB has subsequently released a 10-point housing plan to offer solutions to lawmakers at all levels of government to improve affordability across the board. This plan includes a recommendation geared towards state, county, and local governments to reduce minimum lot sizes, to allow for greater freedom in the placement of accessory dwelling units, and to promote middle housing (defined as duplexes and townhomes). Missing middle housing can assist in both increasing the number of units built and units available in a wide variety of price points. 

According to the NAHB, the value Americans place on owning their home continues even through challenging times. According to a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey, more than two-thirds (67%) of Americans say that housing is a good investment. Another Federal Reserve survey, which examines household balance sheets, shows that homeownership is key to building household wealth. For families that owned a home, the median net housing value increased from $139,000 in 2019 to $201,000 in 2022, as home prices rose, and home mortgage debt was approximately flat. 

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at
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