Americans are known for having big new houses but data from Trulia suggests residents of several other countries search for bigger houses online:
But is it possible that Europeans have even more of an appetite for mega-mansions than the average American?
Trulia, an online real-estate firm based in San Francisco that recently filed for an initial public offering, has taken a look at its search traffic from abroad to see what kinds of homes foreigners typically look for on the site. The table shows that the median size of a home viewed by searchers from Holland in the second quarter of this year was 2,400 square feet. Brits and Germans looked at homes with a median size of 2,342 and 2,200 square feet respectively.
The firm then looked at the median size of home that Americans were searching for in their own backyard and discovered this was 1,854 square feet. The least space-hungry searchers of the lot in its ranking were from Argentina and Israel, which probably reflects the fact that folk in these countries tend to buy apartments rather than houses in cities such as Miami and New York.
So is it time to ditch the McMansion moniker? No so fast. Foreigners using Trulia may well be looking for holiday homes in the United States, which implies they are relatively wealthy and can thus afford much bigger abodes than more typical buyers. And Trulia can only identify the location of a searcher, not someone’s nationality. So it’s likely that, say, American military personnel based abroad and looking to come home are a part of its “foreign” traffic. It will take much more data than this to undermine the foundations of the McMansion story.
It is too bad that Trulia doesn’t have or isn’t releasing other data that might help us figure out more about these foreign searchers.
I am intrigued by the idea of a “McMansion story” this post suggests is present around the world. Americans do have big houses compared to other Western nations – however, Australia has even larger new houses. Are these larger new homes in America looked at all negatively, seen as wastes of resources and signs of excessive consumption (like McMansions), or are there some who would want similar houses in their own countries?