Are Single-Level Homes More Popular than Two-Level Homes in the East Bay Area?

Are Single-Level Homes More Popular than Two-Level Homes in the East Bay Area?

Are Single-Level Homes More Popular than Two-Level Homes in the East Bay Area?

Hey, fun fact: did you know that single-level square footage always sells for more on a dollar per square foot basis than two or three-level footage? I know, typically, you would think the opposite would be the case, but when you stop and look at why single-levels are gaining popularity, the picture starts to unfold. 

Let’s take a little trip into the Inner East Bay Market and see what’s happening here. Why are people starting to favor single levels over multiple levels? We’ll also reveal a case study providing solid evidence that people are willing to pay more for single-level homes.

The Benefits of Single-Level Homes Over Two-Level Homes:

1. Space

Let’s set the scene. In front of you are two beautiful homes in Alameda. In the first house, you open the door into a 1,500-square-foot area, all on one level. The second house has the same amount of square footage, only it has two floors. What do you see? 

While the ‘footprint’ of the single-level house (the area measured at the ground level of enclosed space) measures the full 1,500 sqft, the two-level home only measures 750. The remaining 750 will be divided into the top half of the house. 

In addition to losing a wider footprint, you see a hefty set of stairs smack-dab in the middle of the entryway hall. That staircase will eat up 50 to 80, maybe even 100 sqft, with the hallway or platform you need to get to it. Not to mention the dead space you have on top of it. 

2. Experience

With 1,500 sqft all on one level, suddenly, a house with the same square footage as a two-level feels much more spacious. The stairs in the two-level will also dictate where rooms and windows are located and how you get from one room to the other. 

Having the entirety of the house’s footprint on one level allows you more freedom to renovate the space. You can add wider hallways, bigger closets, and different angles for windows. So, overall, you feel like you’re getting ‘more house’ and more options. 

3. Accessibility 

Stacking on to the list of advantages of single-level homes, you have the added benefit of accessibility. This gives you a wider buyer pool when trying to sell a house. You have families, people who are downsizing, people who don’t can’t deal with stairs anymore, and multi-generational living situations.

People also become much more willing to invest in a house they see themselves aging in, meaning they’re likely to stay there longer. 

Our Case Study:

To complete this study, we took 90 days’ worth of home sales data on Bay Farm Island. The houses ranged from 1,800 to 2,500 sqft (a typical size for this area), and we split them into two groups: 6 single-level homes and 2 two-level houses.

We found single-level homes sold at an average of $960 per sqft, whereas two-level homes sold for around $916 per sqft. That’s about a 4.5% increase for single-level. While other factors can contribute to pricing, in general, people are usually willing to pay 3% to 5% more for single-level square footage. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a realtor or buyer looking to get into the East Bay, it’s worth noting that single-level houses tend to perform a bit better. It can provide a much more comfortable layout and the kind of house you can live in for generations. 

If you’re a realtor or investor and 3% to 5% higher selling prices pique your interest, it may be time to start looking at some single-level listings in the Alameda and Oakland area. If you’re unsure where to start, there’s no better place than

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