07 juin 2013 ~ 0 Commentaire

Miami mansions on the upswing

During the previous three years, the average size of new houses has grown noticeably, according to a Census Bureau report released Monday. In 2012, the median home in the U.S. Hit a best-ever record of 2,306 sq. feet, up 8% from 2009.

During the recession, North Americans downsized and the average new home shrunk in size by 6% over 2 years to 2,135 sq. feet. At the time, many industry experts claimed the times of the Mansions were over.

The shrinkage was meant to indicate that a new era had begun, with young customers looking to live nearer to urban cores and settling for smaller places and baby boomers downsizing after their youngsters had flown the nest.

Nonetheless it was not that consumers wanted less space, many just couldn’t afford more, announced Jeffry Roos, a regional president for home builder Lennar. And now that the economy is improving, they’re demanding bigger houses again, he revealed.

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In 2012, the nation’s Association of Home Builders conducted an evaluation of homebuyer preferences and discovered that people preferred a median home size of 2,226 square feet, under the Census Bureau’s reported recently median size.

And the homes seem to be getting even bigger this year, according to builders. Marcie DePlaza, a division president for GL Homes, said so far this year her company is selling houses that average about 7% larger than in the first 5 months of 2012.

Rose Quint, a helper vice president for survey research with NAHB, related the trend toward bigger homes could be less articulated if mortgages were simpler to get for low- and middle-income borrowers. With hard underwriting standards ready the buyers who land mortgages tend to be more well-off and in a position to afford bigger houses.

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« It has to do with who has got access to credit, » she said. « The mixture of homebuyers is dissimilar. When lending returns to normal, home size will go down again. »

So far that trend has still to appear. Even though loan underwriting has gotten a bit simpler lately, according to a Fed Reserve survey, home sizes keep growing.

It could be that people are basically programmed to want larger living spaces. While looking around, consumers almost always end up seeking bigger, not smaller, houses than they’d initially planned, according to Fred Cooper, a spokesperson for Toll Bros, the nation’s largest luxury home developer.

« In the depressions, in upturns, whenever, our customers often added another 18% to 20% of floor space onto what already was a very nice house to begin with, » related Cooper.

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A corresponding thing occurs at GL Homes. It has got a model available in a three-bedroom, or a larger four-bedroom version. « The four bedroom outsells the 3 bedroom all day long, » announced DePlaza. « I have no idea if we’ve ever sold a three-bedroom one. »

Many families have also doubled up, with three generations or more living in one place. Lennar has a line of houses, called Next Gen, that have a separate suite, suitable for a mother-in-law or for college grads who are saving cash before setting out on their lonesome or those who haven’t managed to find jobs. Naturally, these houses are larger than Lennar’s average offering and have become more popular.

But it’s tough not to see the increase in home size as an indicator that the economy is recovering, related DePlaza. « People were not buying SUVs [during the recession] either and they are again, » she announced. To top of page

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