USA Today reports that Americans are building smaller homes:
New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show.
The trend for smaller homes is predicted to continue after the economy recovers:
“This will remain a trend. I don’t expect this (home size) to come back up,” says Gopal Ahluwalia, vice president of research for the National Association of Home Builders. Nine of 10 builders surveyed by NAHB this year say they’re building or planning smaller, lower-priced homes than in the past.
“We don’t need big homes,” he says. “Family size has been declining for the past 35 years.”
In 1982, during another recession period in US history, the Census Bureau reported the average new home was 1,710 square feet. Homes are currently more than 600 square feet larger, but the recent downward trend (in my personal opinion) is still a step in the right direction.
Speaking of home sizes, Unclutterer senior writer Matt was recently quoted in a MSN.com article on downsizing. “Cut your square footage in half.”