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Nope, tiny houses are not the next big thing

Sorry, man – size matters

October 20, 2014

I said it before and I’ll end up saying it again: How do journalists count?

Answer: One, two, trend.

The latest committer of this cardinal sin of journalistic sloth is a blog that states the following:

There's a new, huge craze sweeping the United States... and it's tiny houses. Yes your read that right, tiny houses. The movement is made up of people who are sick of the ginormous houses that have come to dominate much of America. It's not just one demographic group either. The tiny house movement, as it's known, is made up of equal parts millennials, newly weds, and even retirees.

But this poor blog is not alone in this.

USA Today on Oct. 4, 2014: Tiny houses are hot. 

ABC News on Oct. 8, 2014: Tiny Houses: Making the Most of Pint-Sized Spaces. More homeowners are moving into mini-modern homes

And here’s a link to literally more than a thousand more stories about these trailer-mounted, 100- to 400-square-foot dollhouses.

Yes, a few hipsters and other assorted folks who make bad decisions are buying into this, but here’s the reality: Americans like their space. (OK, maybe not the island-dwelling herbivores in Manhattan and the central-planning, urban density pushing Eloi in other large cities, but pretty much all other Americans.)

That’s not just opinion.

According to the last Census report, the median house size is 2,384 square feet. That’s an increase from 1,525 square feet in 1970.

Moreover, in the last 10 years, the median house size has increased on average 25 square feet per year. The share of homes with more than four bedrooms and more three or more full baths continues to rise.

Newly built single-family homes in the United States are getting bigger, costlier to build and more expensive, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

In fact the only thing shrinking for new construction is the size of the lot they’re built upon, according to NAHB’s most recent construction cost survey of 3,019 builders. The survey was conducted in August and September of 2013.

The average size of a home in the 2013 construction cost survey was 2,607 square feet, which is about 300 square feet more than the average size of the homes reported in the 2011 construction cost survey, but still about 100 square feet less than the peak reported in the 2009 survey.

So, like skinny jeans for men and the Cronut, tiny houses are another fad already past the sell-by date, pushed by people who view humanity as a blight and private homes as subversive or something.

Unless you call that tiny house what we call it out in flyover country – a hunting or fishing cabin. Then it’s acceptable. 

Pictured: I could use this when hunting

I'm not saying everyone wants a McMansion, nor is the data saying that. But let's call this tiny house thing what it is -- a flash-in-the-pan fad of glorified trailers with fancy trim. 

Oh, the other thing – journalists still can’t count.

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