Where can you be a city dweller in a house with a nice big yard?
With mortgage interest rates decreasing – aka more financial bandwidth to buy a bigger property – LawnStarter ranked 2024’s Cities With the Biggest Yards.
We compared the 2,000 biggest U.S. cities based on the average yard sizes of single-family homes from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Plan your next move with our ranking below. First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Cities With the Biggest Yards.
We then gathered the average yard acreage for each of the 2,000 biggest U.S. cities from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank. The highest Overall Score ranked “Biggest” (No. 1) and the lowest “Smallest” (No. 2,000).
Note: Population data was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau for reference purposes only.
Explore some of our Golden State highlights and lowlights below.
California cities with the biggest and smallest yards
Rank City Average Yard Acreage
5 Fallbrook 0.853 acres
93 Apple Valley 0.554 acres
547 Santa Barbara 0.326 acres
982 Riverside 0.247 acres
1,339 Fresno 0.195 acres
1,364 Sacramento 0.191 acres
1,752 San Diego 0.131 acres
1,797 Los Angeles 0.122 acres
1,896 San Jose 0.102 acres
1,902 Long Beach 0.1 acres
1,936 Oakland 0.088 acres
1,998 San Francisco 0.018 acres
Only the top 150 cities in our ranking enjoy lawns larger than the national average of half an acre.
Small city living offers the most yard space: Each of our top 10 cities has a population below 50,000. Unsurprisingly, congested cities like New York (No. 1,993) and San Francisco (No. 1,998) tumbled to the bottom of our ranking with some of the smallest plots.
Many Western urbanites go without spacious yards. One California city – Fallbrook (No. 5) – landed in the top 10, while 255 Golden State cities shrank into the bottom half of our ranking.
Final Thoughts: Find the perfect plot
With mortgage loan limits increasing this year and lower interest rates on the horizon, homeowners may be able to put more money toward a home with their dream backyard in 2024.
Whether it’s for gardening, playing with Fido, or cornhole competitions with the kids, having green space to escape to is beneficial for the body and mind.
Make the most of your large lawn with our tips and tricks below.
· Keep an eye out for lawn diseases.
· Get the best lawn mower for a big yard.
· Decrease your chore list (and water bill) with xeriscaping.
· Add some glamor with a small backyard pond or cozy outdoor fireplace.
· Install a fence for even more privacy.
· Set out some fun backyard games like pickleball.
If your yard is on the smaller side, you can still take steps to improve your space.
· Use landscaping to enhance front yard curb appeal.
· Get the right mower for a small property.
· Buy a robotic lawn mower to keep the grass in check.
· Add balance to the backyard with creative landscape design.
Sav Maive is a writer and director based in San Antonio. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is a loving cat and plant mom.