Every year since 1984, the National Association of Home Builders (in the United States) has commissioned a home with the goal of showcasing new trends and technologies in the industry. At the same time, it also serves as a kind of dream home. This is what one should aspire to achieve. The initiative is called the New American Home (TNAH).
The first home was built in Houston by Village Builders. The architect was Booth/Hansen & Associates and the home was about 1,500 square feet. It cost $80,000. Last year the home was in Montverde, Florida and was about 10,690 square feet (6,676 square feet of air-conditioned space). Not surprisingly, these homes have grown over the decades.
According to a recent New York Times opinion piece by Allison Arieff — called, The New ‘Dream Home’ Should be a Condo — the square footage of this New American Home has been steadily rising:
This is, of course, reflective of what has been happening in the market as a whole. According to Arieff, the average size of a new U.S. home today is about 1,000 square feet larger than it was in 1973. The average space per human has increased from 507 to about 971 square feet. As our wealth has grown we have naturally become more consumptive.
But as Arieff asks in her article:
What if the next New American Home was a condo? And what if there was a new American dream, not of auto-dependent suburbia, but walkable urbanism?
She then contrasts last year’s 10,000 square foot “Tuscan style” New American Home against this 6 unit urban infill condo project in Los Angeles, where the average home is about 1,800 square feet and the building in its entirety is around 11,000 square feet.
Which one would you prefer?
Charts: New York Times