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Another Nail in the McMansion Coffin?

February 14, 2011

Maybe working at an organization whose mission is to promote smart growth skews our view, but it seems as if every other week there is a study showing that the next few decades will be markedly different from the preceding ones in terms of development patterns.

Last month, we reported on a study by the National Association of Homebuilders showing that young people (those born roughly between 1980 and 2000) prefer to live in an urban environment with easy access to amenities, rather than the suburban cul-de-sac neighborhoods in which they grew up.

Now comes this story in USA Today about a downsizing trend in the Cleveland housing market. According to the article, the median home size for first-time homebuyers is shrinking as more young professionals move to more urban areas in search of shorter commutes and more amenities. The article claims that “90% of home sales nationwide are to young professionals looking for urban housing.” This seems a bit high, even to the most ardent smart-growth enthusiast — but who knows?

As we’ve noted, this trend is already evident in New Jersey, where cities and compact, transit-oriented suburbs have weathered the housing crisis better than their sprawling, exurban counterparts.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2011 9:53 am

    Downsizing is fine but bad planning, design, and materials will make smaller homes blights on our landscape. On top of that, we will need creative solutions for managing the vast stock of existing McMansions and transforming them.

  2. February 15, 2011 9:53 am

    For solutions check out Great ideas here.


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