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Sun sets on McMansions

How economics of building larger homes have changed

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The ongoing recession has done the country one good turn. It has -- at least for the time being -- killed off the McMansion Era. The decade that brought us those monstrous homes of little architectural distinction in far-flung suburbs had surprisingly begun to unwind as early as 2006, but it took a five-year run of collapsing home prices and rampant foreclosures to kill it off. Maybe not forever, but at least for the time being. "The median-sized home being built today is smaller," reported Paul Bishop, vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors. "And our survey of homebuyers indicates that as well. People buying new homes today tend to purchase slightly smaller homes than homebuyers of even a few years ago." NAR's research gets empirical backing from the American Institute of Architects, which does a quarterly survey of home-design trends. One of the questions in its survey is: "Are the homes you are working on in your area ...