Here's a story that summarizes marketplace changes that I have witnessed over the past few years. CNBC's Death of the McMansion:Era of Huge Homes is Over discusses how the average square footage of new homes has been dropping. In the 1960's, the average new home had roughly 1,200 square feet. In the 1980's, it was 1,710 and exploded to 2,300 square feet in the 2000's. Today, the average square footage for a newly constructed home is 2,200.
I believe one reason for this is that the utility costs for the extra space is very high and as the energy costs have increased, buyers are looking at smaller and more efficient options. Plus, the retiring baby boomers are looking for smaller homes to live in.