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Million Dollar Home Developer Targets Small House Buyers

7/8/2011 2:19:43 PM

Tags: small home market, home size, smaller homes, AIA Design Trends Survey, NAHB, National Association of Home Builders, Woodstone Development, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailLast week’s AIA Housing Trends Survey indicated that Americans may already be turning away from smaller homes and building bigger again, after the 2008 housing market crash caused a decline for the first time in decades. This morning I spotted an item in the Middletown, New York, Times Herald-Record that gives me anecdotal hope about housing size.

In “Home Developer Thinks Small,” the newspaper reports that luxury home developer Woodstone Development is offering a new product for its gated community of million-dollar, 5,000-square-foot luxury homes in Bethel, New York: 1,250-square-foot Adirondack cabins with a starting price of $279,000. "Up until this point, we've only really addressed the top of the pyramid," Howard Schoor, Woodstone's chairman and CEO, told the newspaper. "This is designed more to meet the realities of 2011 — that people are downsizing." Schoor believes the smaller, less expensive homes will attract younger, more upwardly mobile home buyers.

A National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) survey released in April predicted that homes will become greener and smaller by 2015. According to Builder magazine, the average home is currently about 2,380 square feet, but the NAHB expects that to be 2,150 square feet by 2013. Stephen Melman, NAHB director of economic services, says that affordability is key. Home buyers, especially those looking at custom homes, are saying ‘This is how much I can spend. How can we make it fit?’ ” he says. 

Surveys can be wrong. I firmly believe that we'll see tremendous growth in the small home market yet.

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7/11/2011 12:03:50 PM
I hope you're correct about smaller home sizes as well. We believe baby boomers will continue to "right size" their lives, whether they are still working or fortunate enough to retire. Also agree with commenter, Jade_4, that "less is more", especially if one makes good choices around home design, energy efficiency, aging-in-place....

7/8/2011 11:32:40 PM
"Surveys can be wrong. I firmly believe that we'll see tremendous growth in the small home market yet." I have to agree with this statement! Not only because I am in the process of downsizing, but many of the people I talk to and/or know personally are choosing to downsize their homes, their possessions, their lives! They are tired of working 7 days a week just to be able to afford all their "stuff" and many are remembering how it use to be that from 5PM on Friday till 8AM on Monday, their lives were their own. LOL With computers, we now find ourselves working 24/7s sometimes and are finally figuring out that bigger (or more) is NOT better!

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