Home sizes are increasing

Southern Live Oak on St. Simons Island GA

Houses of all sizes are hot commodities in the Golden Isles, but bigger is better.

The demand for houses larger than 2,000 square feet is apparent by the amount of time they stay on the market, said Realtor Dawn Miller, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate.

In the past year, Miller said 1,131 homes larger than 2,000 square feet have sold or gone under contract, with 57 on the market zero days and another 79 under contract within two weeks.

“In addition to the space in the home being a demand, our buyers are also seeking outdoor space,” she said. “The coastal lifestyle creates a demand for living space outside such as screened porches, firepit areas, swimming pools and even detached buildings for housing recreational vehicles.”

There are currently 97 active larger homes listed with most of them ranging in size from 2,087 square feet to 6,500 square feet. The six largest homes on the market range between 7,500 and 11,200 square feet, Miller said.

A change in how people work is driving the demand for larger homes.

“With more and more people able to work from home, the target for this market has changed immensely,” Miller said. “A four- or five-bedroom home isn’t just for large families anymore. We are seeing this market expand to just about everyone.”

The extra rooms have a variety of uses – home offices, fitness areas, craft rooms and guest rooms for visiting friends and family. It’s also nice to have flex space for the unknown, she said.

Spacious homes can be found throughout the Golden Isles, including in North Glynn at Carriage Gate Plantation and at Oak Grove Island, off U.S. Highway 341.

Some of the neighborhoods at the south end of St. Simons Island, including East Beach, Kings Point, Ocean Breeze and The Orchard have larger homes on the market

The north end of St. Simons has 27 active homes for sale in Dunbar Acres, Captain’s Cove, Hampton Point and Sea Palms.

Jekyll Island has some cottages and condos that would also be considered larger homes, Miller said.

There are currently 183 homes for sale in Glynn county, and about half of them are 2,000 square feet or larger.

“At this point, we show around 135 homes under contract that are over 2,000 square feet,” she said. “While some of our larger homes on the market were built as early as 1895, and many were built in the 1900s, about 25% were built between 2000-2019, with about 30% being built within the last two years. New construction homes make up most of the market for sure.”

The good news is there are more developments with larger homes being planned.

Lakeside at Longwood is a spectacular gated development in West Glynn County that will have plenty of homes in that larger square footage category of 2,000 square feet,” Miller said. “The lots are a great size, and they offer lake front sites as well as some marsh view sites. A community dock, gazebo, kayak launch site, community room and a fabulous zero entry swimming pool are just some of the perks of this development.”

Other developments that feature larger homes include Carriage Gate Plantation, in Brunswick, where new phases have opened with new homes for sale, and The Orchard and Lake Cottages, both on St. Simons Island, which will have homes available in about eight months.

“The newest additions of this development (Lake Cottages) will consist of spacious Mediterranean-revival style town homes,” Miller said. “These new homes will be conveniently located with the Sea Island Market in walking distance and a private bike path leading straight to Sea Island.”

The demand for larger homes is coming from everywhere, she said.

“Glynn County residents are selling and then buying right back here,” she said. “Other locations are Ohio, Idaho, Maine, New York, Florida, and other cities in Georgia (St. Marys, Atlanta, Savannah). The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) continues to bring people to this area as well.”

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