Is the McMansion Era Gone Forever?
Beginning almost three years ago, the recession hit the housing market at its core, and today we continue to see the effects with both the number of new homes built and the size of new homes. The question remains, however, will the decrease in size of these homes be temporary, or is the McMansion era over?
Each year the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts a study on housing trends. In the 2009 study there was strong evidence supporting the notion that the housing market is favoring smaller homes. From the peak size of 2,268 square feet in 2006, the median size of new single family homes has shrunk to 2,100 square feet in 2009. Average new home prices fell accordingly from $256,000 in 2006 to $211,000 in 2009. An important fact to note is that while square footage has dropped the average number of bedrooms and bathrooms remained relatively the same. For more detailed information on the housing trends, be sure to check out: Characteristics of Single Family Homes Started in 2009 by the NAHB
The NAHB data reminds many researchers of a similar situation during the 1980’s when astronomical interests rates lead to a decrease in the average home size. While the ‘80’s decrease rebounded, it’s questionable as to whether the current decline will do the same. Other housing trends could come into play when analyzing future new home square footage:
“This time, part of the current home size decline may again be a temporary recession-related phenomenon, but part can also be attributed to trends in factors like the desire to keep energy costs down, amounts of equity in existing homes available to roll into a new one, tightening credit standards, less emphasis on the pure investment motive for buying a home and an increased share of homes sold to first-time buyers,” writes Paul Emrath, NAHB’s vice president for survey and housing policy research.
Only time will tell if the current trend of downsizing will continue. Either way, architects serve a vital role in assisting clients with planning efficient space for their home based upon individual needs, regardless of the overall square footage. Smart design is the key to creating a great home.