Americans want smaller homes, but will the desire for less square footage outlast the recession?

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

A new study out Monday by the American Institute of Architects shows that Americans have fallen out of love with McMansions. The 500 residential architects surveyed said that only 4% of their clients wanted more square footage in their homes this year, compared to 16% last year.

This desire isn’t surprising, given both the recession and the fact that the most recent U.S. Census shows that there are 77 million people in the “empty-nester” phase of life, from ages 45 to 64, and 61 million in the first-time buyer category, from 20 to 34.

So at least for the near future, empty-nesters and young adults will dominate the housing market. The question is, will smaller, more affordable housing be there for them?

Read June Fletcher’s full article “McMansions Out of Favor, For Now” in the Wall Street Journal (June 29, 2009).

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