They're Baaack: Average House Size Shoots Up To Highest Ever As McMansions Return

Census data plotted by Builder Online/Public Domain

A month ago I wrote American Houses Are Getting Bigger Again, Because The Only People Buying Are The 1%; the latest data confirm it, and the reasons. Houses were getting smaller for a while, and then, according to Builder Magazine,

"For all these years, the trend was going [down], and then in 2011 it got reversed," says Rose Quint, assistant vice president of survey research at the National Association of Home Builders. "Everything we had heard from builders, from architects, from consumers … was all pointing to a smaller home. But then in 2011 that all seemed to go under the bus."

Census data plotted by Builder Online/Public Domain

And the reason? The number of housing starts is down by 75%, but because of increasing income inequality, tighter mortgage rules and a "top heavy recovery," only the rich can get loans.

"The people who were able to buy a home last year had super good credit, super good savings, super good employment—otherwise you would not be able to get a loan. New single-family home starts were 75% lower [in 2011 compared to 2005], so it’s such a tiny market now that this small group of buyers’ preferences are dominating the market."

So we still have sprawl, but they can afford the gas for their assorted Cadillacs and the electricity for their air conditioning. For now. More in Builder Online

Tags: Green Building | Housing Industry

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