New Homes Get Supersized

February 27, 2015

The median size of a completed new home last year bloomed to a new record – 2,415 square feet, according to the Commerce Department. But will the supersize trend stick?

During the recession, home sizes got smaller as builders downsized new homes to compete with the flood of discounted foreclosures on the market. The downsizing trend had some housing analysts believe it would be a lasting one, lingering long after the recession.

“All the pundits said ‘the McMansion is dead,’” Douglas Yearley, chief executive of Toll Brothers Inc., a luxury home builder, told investors last fall. “But the American dream is still to chase the big beautiful home with the lavish master suite and the wine room and the media room.” Indeed, home sales recently have confirmed that.

Despite overall sluggish sales in the housing market recently, home sizes continued to rise as builders cater to affluent buyers’ tastes. Builders sold slightly more homes priced above $400,000 than those priced below $200,000 for the first time ever last year, the Commerce Department reports. What’s more, nearly 5 percent of homes sold for at least $750,000 – a record high.

But housing analysts aren’t betting home sizes will set any new records this year. The size of new homes started heading down late last year, which could signal that builders may be refocusing on homes for entry-level buyers in looking to increase sales in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Source: “U.S. New-Home Sizes Set Record Last Year,” The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2015)