Thursday, September 13, 2007

Smaller Homes will Fix the Problem?

According to yesterday's WSJ, it looks like the builders are responding to the market conditions by building smaller homes. The thinking is, they will be more affordable if they are smaller and contain less amenities.

They noted that the average size of a newly completed home was 2,248 sq. feet. Thinking in terms of my average sized family of 4 (no pets), that is approximately the size of home we would like to purchase when they finally come down into our price range (and some have already started). I know we should be able to get by in a much smaller home, but I work full time out of the house and require a separate office (don't want to work in my bedroom).


I own you said...

They will build smaller houses and then the enviros will find another endangered frog thus the county will raise development fees.This is just crazy folks.The local governments have run amuck for years as the people take in arrears.They are part of the problem with home costs.They will build smaller homes wtih smaller yards to maximize the number of homes/acre.Not sure what a single guy needs with a 3000 sq ft home but most be compensating for something.

Cmyst said...

I am concerned also that they will reduce the lot size.
Kudos to builders for the new energy-efficient, solar-tiled homes. They're at least thinking along the right lines. More reasonably-sized houses are good, too. But if you don't have some buffer space between you and the neighbors and a yard big enough to grow a vegetable garden in and have room for a play area, families aren't going to go for it.

Giacomo said...

I got curious and did a bit a research.

Apparently in the EU the rough average is 30 sq meters per person, about 323 sq feet (1,292 sq ft for a family of 4.)

The last house we owned in SoCal(built 1913) housed families of 4 for most of it's existence - before the early 1980's addition, it had been only 1,250 sq ft.

This said, I'm not against buying as much house and property you can afford. Myself, I know I can be happy in a smaller house if it has some good space around it.

Giacomo said...

I'm pretty sure families haven't been getting bigger, but as AB suggests, maybe portions of our homes are being used to increase our work productivity.

Average Sq. footage of new single family houses.

1950: 983
1976: 1,500
1990: 2,080
2004: 2,349


Gwynster said...


Remember the thread a while back about wanting to customize your rental without damaging the walls?

These could be great for you

Just need to keep the decals above your children's reach. If think Urban Outfitters has some as well in the apartment section.

buying time said...

As I have posted before I think there are two big trends leading to bigger homes the costotization (all the stuff we "need") and anti-socialization (withdrawing from the community) effects.

Great find Gwynster! I had tried to find that type of decoratio for the kids rooms a while back, but only found expensive wallpaper type stuff.