New Homes Smaller by 2015

    Expect new homes to be smaller in the years ahead: The National Association of Home Builders said earlier this month that the average home built in 2015 will be 2,152 square feet — 10% smaller than homes that started construction during the first three quarters of 2010.

    The cutbacks might be felt the most in the living room, as 52% of builders surveyed by the NAHB said it likely will merge with other rooms in the next several years and 30% expect the living room to disappear completely from floor plans, according to a news release earlier this month from the trade group. Builders also expect that entry foyers and dining rooms will be smaller in the years ahead.

    The only room that may get a bigger share of square footage is the family room. “As an overall share of total floor space, 54% of builders said the family room is likely to increase,” said Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, in the release.

    We already have started to see the trend toward smaller homes in recent years. And in this week’s video report, we look at how to live comfortably in them, getting advice from an organization expert and finding products that can help us cram more stuff into less space.

    Also in this week’s pages, read a Home Economics column about tapping home equity in retirement and a Realty Q&A about one reader’s quest to correct a title-company error.

    The McMansion is falling out of vogue, as more people demand smaller, more efficient housing. Now, people have to get used to living in these tighter quarters.

    Amy Hoak, Real Estate writer

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