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A McMansion comeback?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 7, 2013 09:49 AM

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The Great Recession appeared to have soured Americans on big homes.

But as it turns out, the backlash against big homes is now over before it really ever got started.

The average size of new homes built across the country rose 3.7 percent 2011, rising to 2,480 square feet, U.S. Census Bureau numbers show. While the increase of 88 square feet wasn't seismic, it marks a reversal of a trend that has seen the average new home shrink after peaking at over 2,500 square feet in 2007.

A whopping 87 percent of new homes built in 2011 had at least three bedrooms, with nearly 40 percent boasting four or more bedrooms, according to the Census Bureau. The majority of new four-bedroom homes - 57 percent - included at least three bathrooms as well.

While we won't see the 2012 numbers for another few months, we could very well soon be passing that 2007 record.

Locally, this embrace of bigger is better can be seen amid a surge of tear downs in the western suburbs, in which older capes, ranches and even colonials are being torn down to make way for new and much bigger homes worth $1 million and up.

Meanwhile, other stats also show resurgence in that basic American belief that bigger is better, no matter what.

A new survey by, which polled over 7,200 families who had either moved in the past year or who are planning to move, found that 25 percent were scaling up to bigger homes. That was 4 times the number looking to downsize.

It's too bad the embrace of smaller homes proved to be so short-lived - lots of space, especially if it is badly designed, can be both a complete waste and downright ugly.

Happy big is back? What's your take?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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