Homes Shrink With the Economy
Builders' 'Depression' helps drive reduction
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 26, 2009 9:30 AM CDT
In this April 14, 2009 photo, real estate sale signs are shown lined p in front of a new condo development in Lincoln Park, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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(Newser) – Home sizes are aligned with the shrunken economy, the Los Angeles Times reports: last year, the typical home size dropped 11%—likely the fastest plunge since the 1970s. Some 90% of builders are working on a smaller scale now, an industry poll found. “People are realizing, 'Hey, I don't need the Lexus anymore,'" said a developer. "'I can live with the Camry.'"

Finished home sizes have increased nearly steadily for decades, hitting an average of 2,500 feet in 2007. But now, with cheaper foreclosures accounting for half of home sales, builders are facing their own “Great Depression,” said an analyst. “They're basically in survival mode, so they do what they have to do”—like building smaller. The size of the average single-family home under construction fell to 2,343 feet last year, though it has grown slightly in recent months.