Is the McMansion dead in the koi pond? Not entirely, I’m sure, but the trend is toward smaller and (maybe) less garish:
In its latest report on home-buying trends, real-estate site Trulia declares: “The McMansion Era Is Over.”
Just 9 percent of the people surveyed by Trulia said their ideal home size was over 3,200 square feet. Meanwhile, more than one-third said their ideal size was under 2,000 feet.
“That’s something that would’ve been unbelievable just a few years back,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia. “Americans are moving away from McMansions.”
We’re not crowding ourselves into rabbit warrens, exactly, but we definitely seem to be downsizing a bit:
I note with some amusement that my own house, built in 1948, is a hair bigger than the stated average for the 1950s.
Now why is this happening? The less-than-inspiring condition of the economy surely is a contributing factor, and Pete Flint argues that the F-word has put a scare into folks:
“This is absolutely a long-term effect,” he said. “Think of families with small children who’ve been foreclosed upon … When these teenagers are in a position to buy a home, they won’t want to go through these experiences they saw their parents go through.”
Oh, that F-word.
After renting for a decade or so, my son, his wife and their three children are buying a place in an early-1960s neighborhood east of Kansas City, a house that, per Trulia’s graph, was smallish even for that era. Still, better that than something they might not really be able to afford. I don’t think they ever aspired to a McMansion. Certainly I never did.