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Big homes back?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 8, 2013 08:57 AM

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Karen and I took the kids last Sunday for a stroll in the Needham Town Forest.

Far more eye opening, though, than the walk through the woods was our drive down a couple of Needham residential streets to get there. Every other house was big, new and crammed onto the modest lot it was built on, given some 50s ranch or cape probably was there before.

Some undoubtedly date to the bubble years, but others were of a fairly recent vintage as well, with teardowns on the rise over the past couple years in Bostonís upscale suburbs.

After taking a breather in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the big house is back, with buyers looking to squeeze ever larger homes onto increasingly smaller lots, finds this piece by Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects.
More than 42 percent of residential architects reported home sizes were increasing back in 2005, with just 13 percent seeing a move to smaller homes.

However, by 2010 those numbers had flipped with a vengeance, with just 3 percent of architects polled by the AIA were getting orders to build larger homes.

But a hot real estate market has begun to shift those numbers again, with 12 percent now reporting rising demand for larger homes, the AIAís first quarter report found.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of architects reported rising interest in two-story entryways and higher ceilings.

And remember the media room and the au pair suite?

Both are also making a comeback, the AIAís second quarter survey found. Still, the trend towards bigger homes appears, for now anyway, appears to be limited to upper end of the housing market.

Just 4 percent of architects are reporting an increase in the size of starter homes, a number that has remained stagnant for years now, according to the AIA.

So is big back? Whatís 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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