Join The Discussion

 

Two from Fort Worth appointed by Gov. Abbott to university boards

Steve Hicks, a University of Texas System regent who has been a vocal opponent of regents who have criticized the system’s flagship campus in Austin, was reappointed to the board by Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. 

read more >

Fort Worth draws closer to deal with Lancaster developer

City staff are planning to introduce the developer Feb. 3 at a meeting of the City Council's Housing and Economic Development Committee.

read more >

Compass BBVA names Happel CEO for Fort Worth

BBVA Compass has appointed Brian Happel, most recently the Fort Worth city president, its chief executive officer of Fort Worth.

read more >

Fort Worth minority business receives nationwide grant

Cuevas Distribution Inc., a minority- and woman-owned business in Fort Worth, is one of 20 small businesses nationwide to receive a $150,000 grant from Chase as part of the Mission Main Street program.

read more >

Arlington's Entertainment District moves forward

Arlington is moving closer to developing its Entertainment District north of AT&T Stadium.

read more >

 

America's homes are bigger than ever

The average size of homes built last year hit 2,600 square feet, an all-time high that surpassed even the housing bubble years, when homes averaged around 2,400 square feet, according to the Census Bureau.
Credit: CNNMoney/Census Bureau
 

Les Christie

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- America's biggest homes are getting even bigger.

The average size of homes built last year hit 2,600 square feet, an all-time high that surpassed even the housing bubble years, when homes averaged around 2,400 square feet, according to the Census Bureau.

But there is a clear difference between the days when everyone was building McMansions and what's happening post-housing crash.

First of all, the rich have gotten richer.

"If you had a lot of money in the stock market, it has doubled since 2009," said Stephen Melman, director of Economic Services for the National Association of Home Builders.

And many have used those riches to buy even bigger places, he said.

Meanwhile, relatively few first-time homebuyers -- the biggest market for smaller homes -- are able to buy homes, said Melman. Many young buyers are having trouble getting mortgages or are heavily in debt with student loans.

As a result, the market for smaller homes, of 1,400 square-feet and less, has shrunk to just 4% of homes built. That compares with 9% in 2005.

Meanwhile, extremely large houses -- 4,000 square feet and up -- have been making up a much larger slice of the new homes built.

Last year, these mega homes accounted for more than 9% of new homes. In 2005, they represented 6.6% of homes built.

Houses that are a little smaller but still verging on mansion territory, those between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet, made up 21.7% of new homes in 2013, up from 15.6% in 2005.

Not only are the homes bigger, they have more rooms as well. There's the obligatory playroom, the home office, the den and the FROG, or family room over the garage.

And, of course, few children have to bunk up in an older siblings' room these days. Only 59,000 homes built last year came with less than two bedrooms, compared with more than a quarter million with four bedrooms or more.

"It's like growth is accelerating," said Melman.

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?