The architectural world’s most hated structures may finally be meeting their demise. McMansions, the cheaply-built, faux-opulent mega-houses that litter many of the world’s suburban communities, were born in the 1980s and quickly became the most desirable living accommodation for middle and upper-middle class families. After a slight blip caused by the financial recession of 2008, McMansion popularity returned, with the median size of homes reaching a peak of 2,488 square feet just last year. But as seen in a new study conducted with data from real estate website Trulia, the economic benefit of purchasing one of these houses may now finally be falling.
Tracking data for homes built from 2001 to 2007 between 3,000 to 5,000 square feet (a typical McMansion size), the study found that the premium homeowners were willing to part with to purchase one of these houses has dropped in 85 of the largest 100 U.S. metropolitan areas from 2012 to 2016, including drops of over 80 percent in cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Instead, smaller, older homes have seen a recent appreciation in value.
While the architecture community’s frustration with McMansions has been longstanding, the Trulia study and the increasing popularity of blogs like McMansion Hell, which breaks down the specific and plentiful architectural atrocities committed by the oversized houses, seem to indicate that the general public may now be catching on.