25.8.10

FAREWELL, EXCESS. The market for McMansions is thin, and none too soon for one commentator.
Add to the names sprawling square footage, fireplaces, media rooms and jacuzzi tubs, and your delusions of grandeur just got a lot more delusional.

The cure? A dose of reality. Electricity has gone up 12% nationally in the last three years; natural gas 43%, making utility bills for such huge houses prohibitive. Meanwhile, real estate as a whole is down: The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors report sales of newly built homes fell 11.2% in the first four months of the year compared to last year, while sales of existing houses fell 5.7%. And finally, the prices of these homes create a further road block: several hundred thousand to several million is just not a comfortable price range for most Americans now, particularly with interest rates creeping up.
Perhaps we are seeing a re-evaluation of conspicuous consumption, or voluntary simplicity without the compulson of sumptuary laws. On the other hand, productivity gains in construction make bigger houses cheaper relative to other goods, thus the average size of a new house tends to increase during periods of economic expansion. Moreover, as long as there are gold diggers, there will be sugar daddies looking to build gilded cases for the trophies they have solicited.

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