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Dream Homes are Shrinking for Americans

[May 27, 2008.]


It seemed to be a universal truth that the American dream involved having a family of 5 members, a pet, and a large home. While most of that remains true, a surprising element of the equation to happiness is changing.

With the current economic turmoil that the nation is facing, growing concerns of environmental impact, and aging baby boomers, these factors are literately changing the landscape in which we reside and are doing so by means of smaller homes.

When it comes to the dream home for the average America, the size of it is now a lot smaller than what was typically considered ideal, and of all places, the countryside is seeing some of these more smaller homes being built.

One of the largest factors that is driving this trend towards smaller homes is the aging baby boomer generation, whose eldest members are reaching the age of 62 this year. With their children now adults and with more empty space in a household, these older individuals are requiring a lot less space than what they originally desired.

Another big impact comes from the nature of families themselves. As generations change our culture and establish new trends in both society and in the economy, the latest style of creating a family has developed a much smaller footprint compared to the families from last century. Overall, in the past 30 years, the percentage of married couples with kids has declined from 40% to 24%, signifying a decreased demand for larger homes.

Further corroborating this fact are Generations X and Y who, when taken as a whole, seem more interested in living close to or within downtown districts where they can enjoy  efficient access to the likes of entertainment, restaurants, and more. These generations are showing preference towards living areas that are trim, fit, efficient, and easy to maintain.


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