An editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald notes that the square feet available in a McMansion can be useful:
The trend to large new houses with multiple bathrooms and bedrooms is decades old but they have proved especially handy over the past two years because lockdowns and quarantine rules have forced people to stay indoors more than usual.
Home schooling and working from home is easier with a separate dining room or living room and the hundreds of thousands of people now forced to isolate at home will be glad if their house has extra bathrooms.
“Many households are wanting larger homes than they did before the pandemic. The combination of the time confined at home during lockdowns and the likely future of more working from home has brought the quality and size of one’s home sharply into view,” Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor Luci Ellis told the federal inquiry into housing affordability in November.
Yet once the pandemic passes, one of many aspects of Australian life that may come up for discussion is whether we need to keep building such big houses.
In a typical housing unit, people spend more time in some spaces than others. The kitchen can function as the hub of the home.
Yet, in the midst of a pandemic when people are home more and the home may need to provide more different kinds of spaces, having more rooms and space helps. The open concept kitchen and great room is central in many larger dwellings but such spaces do not work as well with working from home, running a household, and other activities. A larger house at least provides options, even if the layout is not the most conducive to more private separate spaces.
What happens after the pandemic? As the editorial notes, questions will persist about large homes. Australians and Americans have been asking about the need for the largest homes for the world for several decades and people keep buying them. Will there be an interest returning to smaller spaces and closer connections or will people want the option of more space should something every come up? Of course, in the meantime that space can be used for storage or other activities…