Are McMansions on the Way Out?

A 2008 report by the Urban Land Institute includes information from several studies that predict, among other trends, a significant decrease in the demand for McMansions by 2025. The report is part of a larger 2008 ULI publication called "Growing Cooler" that explains how compact development and small-space housing are integral to improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions...

The decrease in demand for McMansions (and increase in demand for condos, townhouses, and apartments) is tied into several factors including a rise in urbanization, compact development, skyrocketing energy costs, and the necessity to change our nation's driving patterns if we want to counteract the effects of global warming. A brief rundown of the stats:

    The Stats on Driving: Why Compact Development Matters
  • The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act would require the US to cut CO2 emissions by 60 to 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy predicts a 48 percent increase in driving between 2005 and 2030.
  • Without compact development, more cars on the road will counteract the benefits of fuel-efficient cars and low carbon-content fuels.

    The Stats on Housing: Demand for McMansions is Decreasing
  • Through 2025, aging baby boomers and residents without children will account for 90 percent of new housing demand in America.
  • Single-person households will account for 1/3 of new housing demand through 2025.
  • A study conducted by the American Planning Association predicts that by 2025 demand for attached housing (apartments, condos) and small homes will increase by 35 million units, while demand for large lots (big homes, McMansions) will decrease by 1.5 million units.

    Benefits of Compact Development and Small Homes
  • When development occurs in compact patterns (i.e. walkable cities with small and attached housing), driving is reduced by 20 to 40 percent.
  • The cities with the most potential to reduce driving are those with dense populations, high expected growth rates, and mixed-use neighborhoods.
  • Studies conducted in partnership with public health researchers show links between walkable neighborhoods and lower incidents of obesity.
  • A city’s energy efficiency increases with compact development.

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What do you think? Are McMansions on the way out or so you see a different trend from your neck of the woods?

Photos (Clockwise): weeHouse, Small Space Solutions from AT House Tours, Texas Tiny House, Clip File: 10 Small Space Solutions