Downsizing is in!

You may have heard, AIA (American Institute of Architects) has revealed a trend in the downsizing of new homes being built(1). The “average size of a new home has increased almost 50% over the last three decades“, according to the report.  2008 will be the first year since the 60’s to see a decreasing in the overall size of new homes. Heating and cooling expenses, taxes, overall costs, and upkeep, are all important factors influencing the trend and demand in the market for smaller homes. Aging Baby Boomers–the nation’s largest population segment–are choosing smaller homes.

We, at Storybook Homes, have people call us every week looking to downsize, they want the coziness and practicality of the smaller homes. They also tell us they also want a better protection on their investment, something they can really enjoy living in, yet something that is more easily sold in a down market.

The general public appears to be much more cautious about buying a home. They are looking to making the most of their money while protecting their investment in these turbulent times. It simply doesn’t make sense to buy a large $1M+ home this month, only to have it fall in value 10-20% (or more) in the very short future.

I’ve spoken with a few Realtors who have said the homes over $750K are simply not moving, or extremely slowly at best. These larger homes are sitting on the market (you can see some of them on the nightly news), some are unfinished and deteriorating, while the smaller homes >$325,000 is where the majority of current sales are occurring.

There are a few other important trends in the AIA report worth noting, I put the reference below if you would like to read it in it’s entirety.

Storybook Homes has specialized in the smaller homes (“cottages” are what we would like to call them) since it’s inception. We simply love the smaller cottage for all kinds of reasons. Now, it appears, the national trend is also looking toward the smaller cottages for more reasons than simply financial (although that’s as good of a reason as any). Our hope is that we will see lots of charming, well-built, well designed, and beautifully landscaped smaller homes popping up all over the country.

(1)- AIArchitect Jun. 8, 2008

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