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New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

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Fort Worth-based Woodmont plans $80M Hard Rock Hotel retail center

Woodmont Outlets of Fort Worth, an affiliate of The Woodmont Co., has partnered with Cherokee Nation Businesses for a proposed upscale retail development at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

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Cooking Class: Fort Worth chef brings home the gold

Toques off to Timothy Prefontaine. The executive chef at the iconic Fort Worth Club is currently the best in the nation, according to the American Culinary Federation. Prefontaine earned the title of 2014 U.S.A.’s Chef of the

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Fort Worth firm 'simplifies' advertising

Reaching customers requires more than price slashing and flashy ads. In today’s competitive marketplace, machines – not men and women – are essential to tapping new markets and

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Trinity Valley School leader to leave in May 2015

Gary Krahn, head of school for the past eight years at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, will leave his position in May 2015 when he and his wife Paula will move

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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.

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