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mcmansionAs sales improve and prices rebound, another housing component is showing growth: square footage. During the real estate lull, the average home size shrunk. However, while the housing market shows signs of recovery, larger and more luxurious homes are also making a comeback.

Over the past year, the average size of new homes has grown significantly, according to a recent Census Bureau report.

The report shows that during the recession, the average newly-built home was whittled down to around 2,135 square feet. Industry experts were predicting that our love affair with McMansions had been smitten. Now, it appears as if the flames are being re-stoked, and house size is once again expanding. In 2012, the median home in the U.S. was up 8 percent from 2009, landing at 2,306 square feet. While that’s a far cry from “mansion status,” it shows that the size of the ideal living space is growing once again. Will we see a resurgence of the All American McMansion? Expert opinions show mixed results.

Steve Melman, NAHB’s director of economics services, attributes the growth in home size to the fact that many first-time buyers were blocked from the market due to strict credit requirements. “Most of the activity has been from the trade-up buyers who can buy larger more expensive homes,” Melman notes. “We’ll see what happens in 2013 if the credit market thaws officially and the first-time buyers come back in.”

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