McMansions: They're Baaack

Well that didn't take long. After falling out of favor during the economic downturn, AnnaMaria Andriotis examines how the rise in new home sales is being driven in part by demand for those maligned symbols of conspicuous consumption.

Although the data isn't available to fully explain the recent surge, demographic trends and home builder observations are signalling a return of the McMansion. According to Andriotis, "Data released on Wednesday shows that sales of newly built homes rose 3.3% in April from a month prior and 9.9% from a year ago. While the figures do not disclose the size of these new homes, home builders credited the McMansion side of the spectrum. That's a reversal from recent trends: During the recession the size of homes got smaller, shrinking 3.4% to 2,382 square feet, according to the US Census. But last year that size jumped 5.2% to 2,505 – the largest in at least four years. In many regions of the country, homes are even larger."

The rise in large homes may be at least partly attributable to the relative ease with which high-income buyers are able to finance their purchases in a hobbled mortgage lending environment, and the desire of home builders to chase this market.

Full Story: McMansions Fuel New Home Sales

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