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Jim Klinge
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701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, One-Story, Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 7 comments | Print Print

One-Story vs. Two-Story

The other day, an appraiser mentioned to me that he had just completed a study comparing the prices of one-story houses vs. two-story.

He had done a similar study ten years ago, and found that the premium being paid for a one-story then was about 5%.

Today, he found that the premium is about 14% – more than double!

We speculated whether it would double again over the next ten years.  When you consider how short the existing supply of one-story homes is today, and that builders are still addicted to the two-story model, it is pretty easy to guess the premium will increase further!

Here’s a sample of houses sold between La Jolla and Carlsbad this year.

NSDCC Houses Between 2,500sf and 3,500sf Sold 2017 YTD

# of Stories
# of Sales
Avg SF
Avg $$/SF
Median SP

You can get a better ‘deal’ on a two-story home, but as boomers get older and unload two-story houses, that market could get glutty, and the quality one-story houses be even more sought-after.


  1. 2 story homes with master bedroom should help.


  2. there is a increased building cost material on a single story as opposed to a two story…more cement etc I would say 5-10% depending on the size


  3. there is a increased building cost material on a single story…

    But once you get to resales, the cost of construction doesn’t apply. It’s purely based on what the market will bear.


  4. A more balanced plan is a 2 story home with downstairs master bedroom, and ideally another downstairs bedroom.

    Take Carlsbad Robertson Ranch Terraces collection for example, a 2 story plan Costa Blanca is only $95000 (or 8%) more expensive than 1 story plan Andalusia but it gets extra 900 sqft (for extra dining room, bonus room, and bedroom). On first floor, most part are the same between 2 models.

    I believe we will see more and more 2 story (new) homes with downstairs master bedroom…


  5. Bigger yard in same size plot if double storey, Less foundations and concrete floor, less roof so double storey cheaper to build or same size yard but smaller plot. So the developers prefer duoble to single storey homes as their cost per sq meter is lower so their profit is larger.


  6. So the developers prefer double to single storey homes as their cost per sq meter is lower so their profit is larger.

    Absolutely, but we’re in a pure resale market around here – there will be very few new homes built in coastal north SD County. The resale supply-and-demand is far different for one-story vs. two-story, and reflected in the cost.

    Example today:

    NSDCC Houses for Sale 2500-3500sf:

    One-story: 40 listings with LP avg $917/sf median $783/sf

    Two-story: 171 listings with LP avg $639/sf median $434/sf


  7. That is such a large price differential for an average home size. Would it boost a houses chance of selling if a stairmaster (electrically powered stair chair) or lift (elevator) was installed?
    Would this be a reasonably cost effective method of differentiating oneself from the common herd enough to approach the single story bungalow price differential?



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