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The Cost of 1,000 Square Feet in Major U.S. Cities

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Today’s 1,000-square-foot homes are a testament to smart, sustainable living, attracting a diverse buyer demographic. These compact homes are gaining popularity among a wide range of people, from millennials making their first foray into homeownership to downsizers seeking simplicity and minimalism. But as attractive as these snug abodes are, their price tags can vary greatly nationwide. 

Using Zillow data, we looked at the cost of a 1,000-square-foot home across major U.S. cities. We analyzed median home value, home size, and more in order to find out where homebuyers can maximize their square footage without compromising their budgets. Read on to see what we found.

The Affordability of 1,000 Square Feet Across the U.S.

U.S. map highlighting the most and least expensive cities for 1,000 square feet

At the pinnacle of affordability stands Indianapolis, as the most inexpensive city for 1,000 square feet in the U.S. A 1,000-square-foot home here has a median sale price of $159,630, positioning it 23.5% below the national average of $202,101 per 1,000 square feet. 

Following closely is San Antonio, with a median sale price of $161,703 for a 1,000-square-foot home, 22.2% below the U.S. average. It’s a testament to the city’s ability to offer a cost-effective lifestyle amidst its historic landmarks and vibrant community life.

New Orleans, known for its unique blend of music, food, and culture, is a city that’s rich in character and kind on the wallet. A 1,000-square-foot home costs about $164,045, placing it 20.8% below the national average.

Rounding out the top five are Houston and Memphis, each offering their unique allure to potential homeowners. In these cities, a 1,000-square-foot home can be secured for $169,364 and $169,819, respectively.

In stark contrast to the most affordable cities for a 1,000-square-foot home, the other end of the spectrum presents a different story — one of exclusivity, high demand, and significant financial commitment.

Leading the list is Los Angeles, where the dream of living in the glow of Hollywood comes with a hefty price tag. A 1,000-square-foot home in Los Angeles averages $685,751, a striking 108.9% above the national average

San Francisco is a leader in tech innovation, but not without a cost. A 1,000-square-foot home here will cost around $506,466, 85.9% above the U.S. average. Seattle follows closely with homeowners expecting to pay around $445,530 for a 1,000-square-foot space, which is 75.2% above the national average

New York and San Diego, both iconic in their own right, also command high prices for their limited living spaces. In New York, a 1,000-square-foot apartment costs around $417,439, 69.5% above the national average. San Diego charges about $410,334 for a 1,000-square-foot dwelling, 68.0% above the average.

Full Dataset

In exploring the affordability landscape across major U.S. cities, we’ve highlighted the extremes — from the attainable dream in cities like Indianapolis to the premium urban lifestyles of Los Angeles. To offer a broader perspective, above is an interactive table where you can delve into the detailed costs of 1,000-square-foot homes nationwide. 

This table provides a snapshot of median sale prices and square footage and illustrates the percentage above or below the national average, offering a clear picture of where each city stands in the realm of real estate costs. Sort through the table above to compare the cost of living across various urban areas and perhaps even find your next dream city based on the balance of affordability and square footage.

Closing Thoughts

From the surprisingly accessible prices in cities like Indianapolis and San Antonio to the premium costs of urban living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, it’s clear that location directly influences the potential bang for your buck. This journey across the urban landscapes highlights the diversity of housing affordability and underscores the importance of considering all aspects of property ownership — including insurance costs.

While the cost of purchasing a home is a significant factor, the ongoing expense of insuring your property is equally important. Smaller homes in more affordable cities may offer lower insurance premiums, contributing to the overall cost-effectiveness of living in such locales. In contrast, properties in high-demand cities may have higher insurance rates due to increased property values and the potential for more significant repair or replacement costs. 

Assurance IQ is committed to helping you understand the full spectrum of homeownership costs, including finding the right home insurance coverage that reflects your property’s size, value, and location. Explore our home insurance solutions to complement your home-buying journey, and take the next step towards securing a home that meets all your needs — financially and beyond.


Using Zillow data, we found the cost of a 1,000-square-foot home across 50 major U.S. cities, to show the real price tag of 1,000 square feet. Our data was analyzed in March of 2024. We also collected the median sale price across all home sales and the median square footage in the same cities to contextualize the data.