The second largest economic crisis of the last 100 years was not enough to kill off the McMansion:
If there’s anything that typifies the boom times before the Great Recession, it is the McMansion. These sprawling houses proliferated around the country in the 2000s, as banks shelled out easy credit to fuel a housing bacchanalia they thought would never die…
As Americans have started building and flipping houses again, they are once again buying McMansions. Since 2009, construction of these homes has steadily trended upward, data from Zillow, a real estate website, shows. The median home value of McMansions is also rising, at a pace that eclipses the value of the median American home…
Many casual onlookers have forecast the death of the suburbs in recent years, especially as younger renters and buyers turn an eye to city centers. Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, says that young people today have far more interest in living in urban environments. “That’s where jobs had been growing fastest over the course of this economic recovery over the past five years,” says Olsen.
Yet younger people who are starting families are still moving to the suburbs for more room, she says. About half of all millennials that purchased a home last year did so in the suburbs, according to Zillow data.
In recent years, the media has vacillated between McMansions are dead (see a summary of my posts on this here) and McMansions are still alive. This new analysis in the latter category uses a similar framing as the earlier stories: McMansions arose to prominence at the end of the late 20th century and interest in them waned after the housing bubble burst. This might be technically true since housing starts did decrease significantly in the housing bubble. At the same time, the construction of McMansions never stopped – indeed, the proportion of new homes over 3,000 square feet actually increased (see earlier post here). And this is with the withering criticism that often accompanies McMansions. The story above follows in this line with the primary analysis coming from the creator of McMansion Hell. Still, the analysis hints that McMansions have a longer shelf life than many would want and a good portion of Americans – not really discussed in this article – are willing to consider them as a viable housing option.
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