Let the home-size debate begin. According to a survey of home-design trends, the era of super-sized homes is giving way to downsizing -- the American Institute of Architects suggests this is a possible byproduct of the housing-market downturn, weakened economy and changing demographics. But the latest government data on housing characteristics does not support the survey findings, as the average square footage of homes remains historically high. The Census Bureau reported in its Characteristics of New Housing report for 2007, released this month, that the average new single-family home completed had 2,521 square feet, up 2.1 percent from 2,469 square feet in 2006. And the average square footage of new homes completed has grown about 46.6 percent since 1977, when the average was 1,720 square feet. About 26 percent of all new single-family homes completed in 2007 had 3,000 or more square feet of space, the Census Bureau reported, up from 24 percent in 2006 and 11 percent in 19...
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