And they're back:
- 2,277 sq.ft. - Median new-home size in 2007
- 2,306 sq. ft. - Median new-home size in 2012
Just as that crowning achievement of the last housing bubble, the McMansions, have once again returned with the second and final return of the Fed-blown housing bubble, the Bluths picked a perfect time to also come bac on the scene.
But back to the triumphal return of McMansions.
Readers will recall that one of the prevailing themes in the early post-depression years, was a return to thrift - in spending and in housing size - and after the median home size hit a record high of 2,277 square feet in 2007, it declined progressively in the following two years according to Census Bureau figures (we can only assume these were not manipulated unlike the jobs numbers). As David Rosenberg at the time, and as the NYT pointed out a day ago, "It seemed that after more than a decade of swelling domiciles, the McMansion era was over. But that conclusion may have been premature."
Because as data from 2010 and onward shows, now only is American fascination with size, in this case of one's home, back but it has never been more acute:
In 2010, homes starting growing again. By last year, the size of the median new single-family home hit a record high of 2,306 square feet, surpassing the peak of 2007. And new homes have been getting more expensive, too. The median price reached $279,300 in April this year, or about 6 percent higher than the pre-recession peak of $262,600, set in March 2007. The numbers are not adjusted for inflation.
However, since we have already covered the return of the housing (and all other) bubbles previously, we will not comment on how the Fed is once again doing everything in its power to bring about the biggest credit and housing bubble crash in history. The NYT has done a rather good and concise job of that:
Yet the economy remains weak. How can Americans keep buying bigger and more expensive homes? It turns out, of course, that not everyone can.
“It’s all about access to credit,” said Rose Quint, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “People who are less affluent and have less robust employment histories have been shut out of the new home market. As a result, the characteristics of new homes are being skewed to people who can obtain credit and put down large down payments, typically wealthier buyers.”
It’s another sign that in today’s economy, prosperity is not universally shared.
Much more can be added here, although at the end of the day all signs point, as usual, to the Fed and its "reflate everything" panacea.
So instead of analyzing the prevailing Keynesian lunacy in which one needs asset bubbles to fix the aftermath of prior asset bubbles, we will simply constrain ourselves to discussing... interior decoration.
The infographic below from BusinessWeek shows how times, and tastes, how to decorate one's McMansion have changed in the past few years.