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The Return of McMansions?

by Shilpi Paul

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A home built by Niroo Masterpieces.

According to polling conducted by Trulia Trends, at least some homeowners are eager to live in giant houses again.

With their American Dream survey, Trulia has been tracking changes in attitudes around home ownership since 2008. This year, Trulia uncovered that despite all the talk of millennials wanting smaller homes, the respondents to the survey actually seem to want super-sized homes.

As optimism grows regarding the housing market — nearly two-thirds of those polled believe that home prices are on the rise — demand for larger homes is rising as well. Eleven percent of respondents want a home larger than 3,200 square feet, up from 6 percent of respondents last year, and 27 percent want a home bigger than 2,600 square feet.

Census data backs up the poll reporting: homes constructed in 2011 were, on average, 2,480 square feet in size, compared to 2,392 square feet in 2010.

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Courtesy of Trulia Trends

In other news from the report, Trulia found that respondents were quite optimistic about the housing market — maybe too optimistic, believes Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. In an analysis of the findings, Kolko worries that too much optimism might lead Americans back to the kind of troubled thinking that led to the crash:

It’s important to dream, and dream big – this is America, after all. And the major housing indicators support renewed optimism. In our December 2011 survey, consumers told us that (1) fewer defaults and foreclosures and (2) more sales would be the two trends that would give them the most confidence in housing market recovery, and both of those measures are improving. But while some optimism is necessary for the housing market to recover, the pendulum may have swung a little too far. Too much optimism would get us back to a bubble.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_return_of_mcmansions/5682

2 Comments

  1. Anon said at 9:48 am on Friday June 22, 2012:

    Isn’t this really dependent on geographical area? I would think people in major cities would generally prefer smaller homes, simply because they’re used to smaller homes.

  1. ibc said at 4:50 pm on Monday June 25, 2012:

    Not only that, but it’s naive to consider this stuff in a vacuum. There’s no way on Earth I’d move out of my streetcar suburb in DC (with its 1000 square foot houses) for the exurbs. But if you plopped a 3500 square foot house down in my neighborhood and gave it to me, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

    Urban versus cul-de-sac living is a trade off.  You can’t look at this stuff out of context and say, “Oh, people want big houses!”  They also want walkable communities, and neighborhood schools. But you can’t have both.

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