The median lot size of a new single-family detached home sold in 2015 dropped under 8,600 square feet for the first time since the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction started tracking the series.

An acre is 43,560 square feet, so the current median lot size is just under one-fifth of an acre. Using a football field as a measuring stick, 5.6 median lots would fit between the goal lines of a football field in 2015.

As National Association of Home Builders economist Natalia Siniavskaia reports in a recent Eye on Housing blog post, although the nation’s lots are getting smaller on average, the regional differences in lot sizes persist.

Looking at single-family (attached and detached) spec homes started in 2015, the median lot size in New England exceeds half an acre. This is 2.6 times larger than the national median.

New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that more than half of single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest lots in the nation, with more than half of the lots exceeding half an acre.

The East South Central Division is a distant second, with the median lot occupying less than one-third of an acre. The Pacific Division, where densities are high and developed land is scarce, has the smallest lots – half of them are under 0.15 acres. The neighboring Mountain and West South Central Divisions also report typical lots smaller than the national median, at 0.17 and 0.16 acres, respectively.