Though the square footage of new houses tends to dip modestly in recessions, the size of the American home has essentially increased since 1973. But that changed last year, when the size of the typical house suddenly shrunk by 11%. That appears to be faster than at any time since the 1970s.
“People are realizing, ‘Hey, I don’t need the Lexus anymore,’ ” said Wayne Eide of the Development Group, builder of the Terraces. ” ‘I can live with the Camry.’ ”
The National Assn. of Home Builders recently surveyed its members and found 90% of them are building smaller now. Developers cite many factors: increased energy consciousness, empty-nest baby boomers looking to downsize. But the strongest motivator is clearly the sagging economy.
“Families and lifestyles are changing,” said Bobbie Cooper, director of sales [for real estate company, The Development Group]. “In 2005 you couldn’t build it big enough. Now it’s all about getting back to the basics.”
Living in Less
May 26, 2009 by smallin