It's a long way from 1973, when "single family" usually meant "single story." But numbers clearly show a dip in the size of new American houses.
After three decades of steadily expanding home sizes, the average area of a new house competed in the United States is down more than 80 square feet from its 2007 peak, according to statistics released recently by the Census Bureau. The average size of a house nationwide declined to 2,438 square feet in 2009. At its peak, the figure was 2,521 square feet.