LOOK INSIDE: Lennar spearheading new affordable homes with 350-sq-ft, $100k builds

Lennar is spearheading the affordability play in San Antonio.

Lennar is building 350-square-foot homes at its Elm Trails subdivision, on San Antonio's East Side. (GABE HERNANDEZ | SABJ, San Antonio Business Journal)

SAN ANTONIO – Is there a market for tiny homes in San Antonio?

Lennar seems to think so.

On Tuesday, the Business Journal got a sneak peak of the homes under construction at Lennar’s Elm Trails subdivision, to see how the city’s biggest homebuilder is building its smallest homes. Offerings at Elm Trails include Lennar’s Cooley model, which comes in at an even 350 square feet, and their Henley model at a curiously specific 661 square feet.

Perhaps what is most striking about the products, however, is their prices. A Cooley home at Elm Trails is listed on Lennar’s website for a cool $131,000 — a price point that faded from the San Antonio market for newly built stick-and-frame homes.

“It’s just amazing. These houses are on 20-foot lots, which is essentially unheard of in most major markets,” said Keith Hughes, business development director with Zonda, a housing analytics firm. “It’s a new thing.”

“One of the core ways that builders drive down home prices is through lot sizes, specifically lot width,” he said. “They pay less for the land, so they can charge less for it.”

Generally, San Antonio tends to spurn small-footprint lots, and enforces 40-foot lot minimums through prohibitive zoning ordinances, which discourages developers from trying to build smaller.

If Lennar discovers an appetite for small-footprint housing in San Antonio, it could be a key piece of the affordable housing puzzle in the city.

Read the full story in the San Antonio Business Journal.

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.