She said what would be considered typical starter homes were once built on a 50-foot lot, while Matt Menard, a broker and co-owner of Austin Real Estate Experts, said 60-foot lots were previously considered traditional.
“That has now changed; now it’s a 40-foot lot or a 35-foot lot,” O’Grady said. “The homes are getting narrower and smaller, and that’s coming from builders trying to keep the price point down.”
The bulk of the market is still constructing new homes on lots above a width of 50 or 60 feet, but she said developers are starting to build more what she calls “skinny homes” with smaller lot widths.
According to data from Metrostudy, in 2015 there were 41 projects in Leander and Cedar Park under construction by developers with lot widths above 60 feet, while only 10 projects were below 60 feet. The number of smaller lots increased by 180 percent by the end of 2017, while the percentage of lots greater than 60 feet increased by about 68 percent in the same timeframe.
Menard said these projects are attracting buyers to the area by providing houses with less upkeep.
“They don’t have someone living above or below them; they don’t need all of that [yard] space; and they want to have their own space and own versus rent,” he said. “I think [houses with smaller lots] have answered the call for a lot of the growth in the area.”
More local real estate trends:
High home construction, sales help meet housing market demand in Leander and Cedar Park
Buyers in Cedar Park and Leander see competition for starter homes
Increase in apartment options led to flat rental rates in Cedar Park and Leander
More existing homes available in Cedar Park; New home construction in Leander prevails