The End of the Age of McMansions

Fewer teardowns and new home starts back up the perception that the age of the McMansion is coming to an end.
January 6, 2009, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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"Indeed, it may allow thousands of communities from Pasadena to Pittsburgh to more accurately balance the living requirements of modern Americans with a widespread desire to maintain older neighborhoods."

"'We're advising communities to take advantage of this slowdown and use it as a cooling-off period,' says Adrian Fine, a regional director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington. 'It gives them a little more time to have a less heated and less controversial discussion to protect a specific neighborhood and balance that with the need for growth and development.'"

"With housing prices off by 18 percent in 20 US cities in the last year and new home starts at a 26-year low, bulldozers have slowed their march across American cities and towns."

"In Westport, Conn., teardown permits are down in the last year by 33 percent – a figure that experts say can be extrapolated nationwide, though teardown trends do have significant regional variations. Analysts expect the lull to last at least five years, perhaps 10."

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Published on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 in The Christian Science Monitor
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