Housing

Report: SF lot size shrinking over time

Backyards in San Francisco
Mark Prado

San Francisco experienced a significant drop in median lot sizes from the 1920s up to the present day, according to a new report by STORAGECafé that looks at home and lot sizes around the nation.

Minimum lot size regulations and zoning laws are now being debated in many of the country’s major urban areas, the report notes.

San Francisco's lot size for the past 100 years started at 3,000 square feet and gradually decreasing to almost 2,500 during the past decade. Median home sizes, on the other hand, increased significantly, by 84%, according to the report.

San Jose saw a 10% increase in median lot size during the past 100 years, but homes more than doubled in size during the same period. Interestingly, the 2000s are the decade with the smallest lots in San Jose – a median size of 3,600 square feet.

The smallest home lots among the country’s top 20 biggest cities are in Philadelphia, where the median plot size is around 1,100 square feet. Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York City's five boroughs– where both available land and prices are at a premium – all have median lot sizes under 2,800 square feet.