Old habits die hard, indeed.
Data released by the Census Bureau show that newly built American homes are no longer shedding square-footage in the manner than they were in the immediate wake of the housing crash. With a median size of 2,360 square feet in 2012, single-family homes, although not being completed at their furious pre-recession pace, are bigger than ever — an 8 percent leap from 2009 and the biggest since the Census Bureau began keeping tabs 30 years ago.
It would appear that, thanks to an improving economic climate and a chugging-back-to-life construction industry, Americans who are buying homes have given up on thrift and sensibility and have reverted back to their big, bad tendencies. The McMansion, my friends, much like the SUV, has made an official comeback.
And with a rise in square footage comes a need for more space to sleep in and sit on the toilet: In 2012, a record-breaking 41 percent of new single-family homes boasted four bedrooms while 30 percent, another all-time high, of new homes had at least three bathrooms.
Rental apartments on the other hand, appear to have experienced a shrinking trend. No huge surprise there.
In newly built multi-family units, the average square footage of units slightly dropped between 2011 and 2012: In 2011, 17 percent of rental units were over 1,400 square feet. In 2012, only 16 percent of units were over 1,400 square feet.
Well, that's a relief ... in the rental apartment market at least, buzzy housing terms like “micro,” “tiny,” “downsized,” “shoebox” and “ungodly small” aren’t at risk of dying off anytime soon as city-dwellers continue to cram themselves into cleverly designed walk-in closets.
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Charts: US Census Bureau