BUSINESS

Turns Out Americans Don't Want Tiny Homes After All

02/26/2015 03:57 pm ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015
Hemera Technologies via Getty Images

Hopefully you’re not living in a tiny house with a bathroom that doubles as a home office, as in this hilarious Portlandia sketch. Still, you probably wish your home were bigger.

More than 43 percent of respondents to a survey released Thursday by real estate website Trulia said that they would prefer living in a bigger home.

Millennials, those age 18 - 34, were most desperate for space. More than 60 percent said their ideal residence was somewhat or much larger than where they are now. Not surprising for a group just starting out. But even Boomers, the age group you’d think was about ready to"Kondo" their houses and fashionably downsize, yearned for something bigger: 26 percent wanted to upsize while only 21 percent wanted to go smaller.

The results seem to confirm that our Recession-era penchant to hate on McMansions and idealize downsizing is over. If it ever even really existed.

Remember those times? Guilty and hungover from easy mortgages that helped people with lousy credit put down no money to buy “Starter Castles” with double-height family rooms and three-car garages, the nation proclaimed the end of the crazy-big house.

The data show that some shrinkage was certainly afoot. After years of growing ever-more giant, the size of the average new home fell slightly from its boom-era peak of 2,521 square feet in 2007, according to the Census Bureau. In 2010, the average home was a mere 2,392 square feet. Not really a big drop, when you consider that in 1973 the average home in America was 1,660 square feet and probably had, at most, two bathrooms.

Anyway, the moment of reason passed quickly. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, the average home was bigger than it was in 2007 -- at 2,598 square feet. A majority of new homes had more than 2.5 bathrooms. Safe to say that none of those bathrooms doubled as home offices.

Of course, not many people can actually afford these new homes. As the New York Times recently pointed out, most of the new homes being built these days are meant for the rich. Indeed, homeownership rates are at historic lows.

As this new study shows, most of us are left to dream of bigger spaces and a future filled with en-suite bedrooms and rooms devoted to wrapping gifts. The American dream lives.

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