According to USA TODAY, the “American Dream is shrinking.” Understandably, new construction is at a low ebb, if not an all-time low. Nevertheless, according to a recent article (“New homes being built smaller”), those homes that are being built in this sluggish economy are considerably smaller than in years past:
For the first time in at least a decade, builders are substantially reducing the size of new houses. No more of these ‘Hummer Homes’.
“We’re trending toward smaller homes,” says Gopal Ahluwalia, director of research for the National Association of Home Builders. He says growth in the average size of new single-family homes, which went from 1,750 square feet in 1978 to 2,479 in 2007, is starting to reverse.
His analysis of Census data shows that homes started in the third quarter of 2008 averaged 2,438 square feet, down from 2,629 square feet in the second quarter. Ahluwalia, who began the quarterly analysis in 1999, says there have been slight dips before, but the latest drop was much steeper and is likely to hold even after the economy recovers.
In a survey of builders this month, his group found that 89% are building or planning smaller homes than they had been. It only makes good sense.