Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Death of the McMansion

It appears that those cut an paste mansions are getting a little smaller.

Have Americans Given Up On McMansions?
Kaid Benfield, The Atlantic, 12 February 2012 (hat tip NC)

After many years of dramatically increasing home size in America - from an average of 983 square feet in the 1950s up to 2300 square feet in the 2000s, despite declining household sizes - the trend appears finally to be going in the other direction. The real estate research firm Trulia found in 2010, for example, that the median "ideal home size" for Americans had declined to around 2100 square feet. More than one-third of survey respondents reported that their ideal preference was lower than 2000 square feet.

The biggest factor is the Jumbo loan limit of $417,000.  Before the crash we still had a private market in loans.  With the Federal Government, through FANNIE and FREDDIE being the end purchaser of most mortgages, it is very hard to get a loan that the won't purchase.

The primary purpose of those homes was to house the boomers, and the teenage echo boomers.  As the boomers get older and start to retire, many of them are going to want to cash out on the value of their homes.

Good luck!


PioneerPreppy said...

It had to happen. Energy costs will factor in as well soon I imagine. New construction is still zip around here that I can see as well.

kymber said...

Russell - when we sold our 2 bedroom bungalow back in the city, in 2010, we had a real estate agent show up at our first, and only, open house. she told us that we could easily raise the price as bungalows were the new "McMansions" - it was a trend that was happening all over North America, as people weren't able to heat/cool (as PioneerP noted above) those big houses. she also said that people who had originally bought them couldn't sell them and when they did sell them they lost on the deal. we got full asking price for our home and thank our lucky stars for that!

your friend,

Erisian ( said...

Good riddance.. they have been ruining the view of most everyplace I have lived and I hate them.

nail a lid on the coffin and lets be done with them.


I love the new trend of Micro Apartments..

Best I have seen is the 300 sq ft "Domestic Transformer".. this is obviously the extreme example.

also lots of muti-purpose conversion ideas and green reclamation processes... book cases that double as staircases to storage areas or sleeping quarters as one example

all very cool.

russell1200 said...

PP: A boss I had many years ago who lived just outside of Baltimore had one of the early McMansions with the super high lofted ceilings. If I remember correctly, it had a two zone electric heat pump system. Maryland can get pretty cold at times, he just about had a heart attack when he got his first winter electric bill. I never understood the attraction of having heating an enormous box, but only having 2/3rds of the floor space of a traditional design. Most people don’t have that kind of money. Many people as they get older also tend to want to put the heat up even higher.

K: Whew. I saw you had posted and I thought you were going to live that rant PP and I had been asking for here. Bungalows (around here that would be around 1200sf) in good locations sell very well. You still have some in close to Raleigh’s downtown (which is still a nice are to live) that go for 1/4 million + For an area that never had the big bubble price run-ups that’s pretty good.

E: That is pretty wild. If they made the partitions out of Legos the eight-year old crowd would go crazy. My only concern is how many walls do you need if you have to go to the BR really really bad.