YUMA, Ariz. (Los Angeles Times) – Home developers nationwide are building smaller homes to match the shrinking economy.
A National Association of Home Builders survey of its members found that 90 percent of them are now building smaller, with the typical home size falling by 11 percent in 2008.
Developers cite many factors influencing smaller living space, including increased energy consciousness and empty-nest baby boomers looking to downsize. The strongest motivator is the sagging economy.
A typical single-family home under construction — the most forward-looking statistic — peaked at 2,629 sf during the second quarter of last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By the fourth quarter, it had dropped to 2,335 sf, but rose to 2,419 sf in the first three months of this year.
The shrinking of the American home coincided with a tightening in lending standards, which reduced the amount of money left for homebuyers. Builders scrambled to shrink their product accordingly.