Homes Are Getting Bigger

Like coffee cups and waistlines, mansions and middle-of-the-road homes are expanding.

In Wake County last year, 236 new homes topped 4,999 square feet. Back in 1980, there were only five of them.

For decades, homes have been expanding across America. Housing industry observers attribute that largely to rising living standards.

In Wake County, the median new-home size has shot up 50 percent since 1980 to 2,380 square feet. But it's not just mansions that are getting bigger.

A middle-of-the-road ranch house with three bathrooms, two baths and 1,600 square feet has been replaced by a two- or three-story, four-bedroom home that's more than 2,000 square feet.