Survey of architects finds smaller homes gaining ground

ADESIGN survey released this week by the American Institute of Architects revealed one bright spot in this brutal housing market: fewer McMansions.

In the organization's latest poll of 500 architecture firms nationwide, 33.5% of respondents said they were building smaller homes this year, whereas only 15.5% said they were building larger. (The remainder said the size of homes requested by their clients was unchanged.)

Those numbers represent a turnaround from just two years ago, when only 17% of the firms said clients were asking for less living space, and 32% said interest in bigger homes was rising.

Kermit Baker, the AIA's chief economist, cited financial pressures and lifestyle changes as reasons for the shift.

Architects were more pessimistic in the West than anywhere else in the U.S. More than half of the residential architects in the region reported that business had declined. Only 6% reported gains.

-- Times staff

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