Recently, Trulia analyzed data from 2006 to 2016 for the 100 largest metros, seeking to understand the new home premium. They dubbed recently built (2001-2007) 3,000- to 5,000-square-foot homes as McMansions and compared them to homes outside that age and square footage range.
It’s worth noting that for all the tiny house rage, average home sizes are at historic highs (after a short-lived retreat during the recession). There was a tiny decline in the first half of 2016 (from 2,658 to 2,616 square feet) that’s being attributed to a shift towards more entry-level housing. This partly explains why Trulia defined McMansions as being as much as double the national average in size.
Using highly selective data from Trulia, news outlets trumpeted the death of the McMansion. The Chicago Tribune blared, “The day of the McMansion has come and gone” complete with misty-eyed millionaires having to take a loss on their McMansion (because they’d bought another one). Meanwhile CNBC hailed, “’Death of the ‘McMansion’: Era of Huge Homes Is Over.” Even The Dallas Morning News reprinted a Bloomberg article titled, “Once a booming real estate trend, McMansions now a bad investment.”
These outlets (and many more) pinned their ideas on Trulia’s research that seemed to show that, much like new cars losing value the minute they’re driven off the lot, so too did new homes. Or did they?