Ask Andy: Single-Story Homes are Making a Comeback

Ask Andy: Single-Story Homes are Making a Comeback

Posted 11/02/2016

What was old is new again in the real estate market, as homebuyers are increasingly seeking single-story homes. According to the National Association of Home Builders and U.S. Census information, 67 percent of newly constructed homes in 1973 were single-story – or ranch-style –  homes. That number dropped to 43 percent in 2006, but has reversed course and is on the rise again.

These classic American icons first became popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s when suburban growth exploded across the United States. The homes were easy to build and affordable. But, as suburbia expanded and interest grew in larger, bi- and tri-level homes, the single-story home began to lose its luster.

We sat down with Maracay Homes President Andy Warren to discuss who or what is fueling the recent single-level-home comeback story. Here’s a look at what he said:

Andy, Maracay Homes has always offered single-level homes, but recently has moved to all single-level designs in several of its new communities. Why?

As baby boomers inch toward retirement, many are looking to age in place and don’t want to worry about running up and down stairs. In fact, a study by the 50+ Housing Council of NAHB and MetLife Mature Market Institute found that approximately 90 percent of homeowners 45 and older say they want to age in place in their existing home. Additionally, younger buyers with small children, or who are planning to become parents, prefer to avoid worrying about the dangers associated with stairs and balconies.

How do today’s single-level home designs compare to those that popularized the style in the ‘50s and ‘60s?

Today’s one-level homes are not the same as their mid-century counterparts. The ‘50s ranch was boxy and modest, with rectangular layouts and long, narrow hallways. Today, homebuilders have opened up the floor plans and included larger windows and higher ceilings. In essence, the new single-level homes offer the best of both worlds – nostalgia and contemporary appeal.

Why does this home style work particularly well in Arizona?

Single-story homes typically are considered less expensive to operate than comparably sized two-story homes because they can require less energy to heat or cool, depending on the quality of construction, square footage and layout. In warmer climates like Arizona, this is particularly important to buyers.

Whether for reasons of practicality, affordability or stylishness, American families are falling in love all over again with the single-story home.

To view all of our single-level floor plans, please visit