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Oh McMansion, We Hardly Knew Ye

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Back in the good old days of the American boom years (which we'll loosely define as 1950 to 2006), the country's collective housing market proudly thumbed its nose at notions of practicality, thrift, resource conservation (and in many cases, good taste), growing the size of the average home as household size declined. Those salad days appear to have come to an end with data out suggesting that in both stated preference and practice, the average size of the American home is declining. There's a multitude of logical reasons this is happening: for example, with the pop of the housing (and pretty much every other) bubble, many folks simply cannot afford to fill 7,000 square feet of house with on-credit furniture and the appropriate number of flat screen televisions to service 4 people and a once-a-year Super Bowl party (that number is 6 to 8, depending on screen size of course). Obviously, this does not mean absurdly ginormous homes will not continue to be built (on spec!, no less). It just means people will have to actually be rich to own them, as opposed to buying a mansion as part of the process of becoming wealthy.

· Have Americans Given Up On McMansions? [The Atlantic Cities]