Australian architect argues banks are pushing him to design McMansions

One Australian architect argues that he doesn’t want to build McMansions but banks are pushing him to do so:

CANBERRA’S appetite for McMansions may have lessened but architects are complaining that it is now the banks – not the clients – who are pushing them for extra more bricks and mortar.

President of the ACT chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Tony Trobe said he had been effectively forced to change designs to give clients extra bedrooms they did not want or need, just so they could get finance from their banks for the build.

”The banks are saying ‘no’ because they think it’s not as easy to sell a stylish two bedroom house as is to sell a three bedroom house with a garage,” he said…

Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive officer Steven Munchenberg said there was no hard and fast rule about needing at least three bedrooms.

”Nobody in the industry is saying ‘no more two bedrooms’ but the banks will take into account the re-salability of the home,” he said.

This sounds like an interesting conundrum: the architect wants a certain design but the bank wants to make sure the home can be sold down the road. Having three bedrooms makes the home more attractive to families and others who might extra space (a guest room, an office, etc.). Could the banks simply be hedging their bets here, meaning they want to ensure they aren’t stuck with an underwater mortgage or foreclosure down the road?

I do have one question: having three bedrooms in a home automatically makes it a McMansion? Having three bedrooms sounds pretty normal to me…

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