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New-home buyers are downsizing their square footage to better suit their lifestyles, but are not necessarily paying lower prices for their new-construction homes, say some homebuilders. In several cases, new-home buyers are probably spending more per square foot in order to be cost-efficient on heating and cooling, while opting for upgrades, such as granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Some 95 percent of homebuilders say that they are building smaller homes to accommodate buyers, according to a 2010 National Association of Home Builders survey, which found that the average square footage of new construction homes has dropped over the last three years. The median floor area of new homes started in 2010 is just above 2,100 square feet, down from 2,309 square feet in the first quarter of 2007.
The least desired features in homes these days, according to the survey, include large spaces such as a media room and two-story atrium, while at the top of buyer's wish lists were a well-designed laundry room and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom.
Baby Boomers and the younger Echo Boomers are driving the new-home trend, say experts.