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Compact American Dream: Housing Market Sees Trend Towards Miniature Homes
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By News
Published 2 months ago on
February 21, 2024

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Soaring US housing costs lead to rise of small, minimalist homes.

Smaller homes offer an alternative for those unable to afford larger properties.

Small home trend seen as reflecting changing standards of middle-class lifestyle.


The rise in housing prices in the U.S. are giving rise to a trend of minimalist subdivision homes that are as compact as 400 square feet. These smaller homes are offering a lifeline for people like Robert Lanter, who due to economic constraints, couldn’t afford a larger home. Property prices had catapulted in Oregon, where 63-year-old retired nurse Lanter hoped to buy a three-bedroom house. The most feasible alternative was small-sized houses in a subdivision,.

Living in smaller homes means letting go of certain comforts like extra space for a coffee table or a guest room, but it also shrinks down the bounds on ownership, says Lanter, a sentiment echoed by many of his neighbors.

High mortgage rates, increasing costs of housing, and converging demographic, regulatory, and economic factors have influenced this shift towards small-sized housing. In turn, these smaller homes are reflecting a changed standard of the middle-class lifestyle, says Ken Perlman from John Burns Research and Consulting.

Young first-time homeowners are finding their footing in the housing market thanks to these mini dwellings. Caleb Rodriguez, a 22-year-old from San Antonio, owns one such small home. These miniature homes offer him an affordable opportunity to start building his wealth.

Sale of homes less than 500 square feet is only a small fraction (less than 1%) of all new houses built in America, but the trend is growing.

Read more at The New York Times

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