Home construction in Westchester and other counties is picking up again, but these new houses are more streamlined than the sprawling mansions that were in vogue before the recession.

The new abodes in Westchester and Putnam counties often measure less than 3,000 square feet, as cautious buyers prioritize energy efficiency over raw space they might be not able to fully utilize.

“The builders I work with know the market isn’t there for these monster houses anymore,” Prudential Douglas Elliman agent Sally Slater told the New York Times. “What buyers of new homes don’t want now is to rattle around in an 8,000-square-foot house with huge living rooms that sit empty because they’ve spent so much on the house they can’t afford furniture.”

The National Association of Home Builders released a study last year predicting that the size of a new home in the US will shrink to an average of about 2,152 square feet by 2015. That’s a ten percent decrease from the average size of a new home built in 2010. Construction trends include merging the living room with other spaces in the house, slimming down the entry foyer and dining room, and building more modest master suites.

“Buyers are unwilling to commit to the high costs of heating and cooling a supersized home and the huge property tax bills that go with them,” Slater told the New York Times.

However, there’s one part of the market where the smaller-is-better ethos doesn’t apply, Westchester builders note: in the super-moneyed towns of Scarsdale, Larchmont and Rye, buyers from Manhattan are still clamoring for the maximum square footage allowed.

Can you blame them, though? When you’re coming from the land of the micro-units, you either go big, or go home.

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