They were dubbed McMansions: those giant, mass-produced homes named to recall the generic nature of fast food. In the early 2000s, they sprouted on suburban lots like dandelions.
Sixteen years later, their popularity is wilting.
According to the real estate website Trulia, the amount buyers are willing to pay for McMansions has dropped 26% in four years. Adds RISMedia, a real estate news site: “As homes in general have been regaining value, McMansions have been losing appeal in comparison to others as the giants of the pre-crash years have aged.”
The reason is multi-fold. In part, the change is due to demographics. Many Generaton Xers bought Mc Mansions in earlier years as a place to raise their families. When the housing market crashed, some lost those homes to foreclosure and suffered downgraded credit scores as a result. Many of these buyers have dropped out of the market.
“Meanwhile,” writes RISMedia, “Millennials are not marrying and having families at the rate of previous generations, loans are tough to get, and renting in cities is more popular with single, affluent 20-somethings than buying large suburban homes.”
As for Baby Boomers, they “tend to downsize rather than replace family homes with McMansions.”
Finally, many looking for large homes prefer newly built properties, rather than homes that have dated décor. Real estate agents note that those ages 35-45 seek rich brown floors, gray walls and white kitchen cabinets, rather than the cherry wood floors and cabinets and white walls that were popular when the homes were first built.
In short, McMansions may have seen their heyday… just like the McRib.