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The Era of the McMansion is over; only nine percent of Americans want a supersized home

SAN FRANCISCO, August 18,, smart real estate search to help you make better decisions, today released the results of its recent American Dream survey[1] on attitudes toward home ownership. Government and industry experts agree: consumer interest in buying homes is an essential element of a healthy real estate market. However, 27 percent of renters indicated that they do not plan to buy a home - ever. Of those renters who do plan to purchase someday, 68 percent said it would be more than two years before they do. This reluctance to buy could potentially drag out the real estate market’s recovery timeline further than many have predicted.


“Large numbers of people delaying their plans to buy a home, or not planning to buy at all, could have an enormous domino delaying effect on economic recovery in the U.S.,” said Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia. “Renters converting into buyers are crucial to turning around the housing slump, but the current economic crisis is causing people to become very hesitant to get off the fence and buy a home. The government needs to focus more on job creation and job security, as well as stemming the foreclosure hemorrhage. Once that happens, the American public will once again have enough confidence in the real estate market and the economy, at large, to resume purchasing homes.”


According to the study, many Americans do still maintain a core belief in the inherent value of owning a home. 72 percent of American adults still believe home ownership is part of their personal American dream.  While this is a decline from 77 percent of adults six months ago[2], the result shows that the American Dream of home ownership is still alive.


This was not the only way in which American attitudes toward homeownership have changed; nearly one in five Americans (19 percent) stated that their attitude toward homeownership has grown more negative over the last six months.  However, more Americans – 23 percent – said that their attitude toward owning a home has grown more positive in the same time frame.


Tipping Factors: From Renter to Buyer in One Year

Seventy-nine percent of the renters who do plan to buy homes at some point said something could inspire them to buy a home within the next 12 months. The changes in circumstance most frequently cited as the “tipping factors” that would make renters decide to buy within the next year were: being able to save enough money for a down payment, getting a new job, getting a promotion/raise, and interest rates staying low or getting even lower.


Factor that Would Encourage to Buy in Next 12 Months

Percent of Renters Who Plan To Buy Homes

Able to Save Enough for Down Payment


Got a New Job


Interest Rates Stay Low/Get lower


Decide it Makes More Financial Sense to Buy Instead of Rent


Got a Promotion/Raise


Local Real Estate Market Stabilized




The McMansion Era is Over

Americans are veering away from the “McMansions” that had grown popular before the recession. Those American adults for whom home ownership is part of the American Dream displayed a preference for smaller homes, with only 9 percent saying their ideal home size is more than 3,200 square feet– the same number of who said they’d like their home to be between 800 and 1,400 square feet. Fifty-five percent of Americans would prefer a home between 1,401 and 2,600 square feet.


Americans’ Ideal Home Size

Percentage of Respondents

More than 3,200 sq. ft.


 2,601 - 3,200 sq ft.


2,001 - 2,600 sq ft.


1,401 - 2,000 sq ft.


800 - 1,400 sq ft.


Not sure



To listen to a replay of Pete Flint and Simply Hired’s CEO Gautam Godhwani discussing the results of the survey and other insights into the real estate market, click here.


For infographics illustrating the results of this survey in a visual format, please visit:


For more information about Trulia or to experience the power of a Trulia search, please visit

This July 2010 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service on behalf of Trulia between July 22-26, 2010 among 2,055 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. The sample included 1,345 homeowners and 663 renters.
Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


About Trulia, Inc. is the most comprehensive real estate site focused on empowering you with smarter tools to help you find the right home. Whether you are an active buyer, seller or real estate enthusiast, Trulia gives you all the information you care about from rich property data to a personalized search experience.  We are focused on helping you find the home that truly meets your needs, and delivers on what’s most important for you. Ultimately, we built a smart real estate search experience bringing together local information, community insights, market data and national listings all in one place, all for you.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit


Media Contacts
Tara-Nicholle Nelson,, 510-910-6713

[1] Survey conducted online for Trulia by Harris Interactive from July 22-26, 2010

[2] Survey conducted online for Trulia by Harris Interactive from January 19-21, 2010

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