Tiny Houses? Yeah Right.

From Fox News:

Why the Recession Brought So Many Supersized Homes to the U.S. Market

Since the Great Recession, more new homes have been selling at what we’d call the extra-large size: 4,000 square feet or bigger. Given that many Americans suffered financially during the recession, that might be surprising. Wouldn’t it make more sense for home sizes to go down during an economic downturn, not up? Here’s why new homes have been trending in the opposite direction of what you might expect.

As the total number of new home sales has come down, the proportion of these homes that are large has gone up.

In 2005, homes 4,000 square feet and up accounted for 7 percent of new home sales.
In 2015, homes 4,000 square feet and up were 11 percent of new home sales.

On the flip side, a smaller share of the new homes selling are 1,400 square feet or less.

In 2005, 9 percent of new homes sold were 1,400 square feet or smaller.
In 2015, 4 percent of new homes sold were that size.
To look at it another way, in 2015, nearly three times as many extra-large new homes (11 percent) sold compared with small ones (4 percent).

In recent years, builders have focused on building larger homes because they have financial incentive to do so. “Builders were only building luxury, high-end homes because those were the sure thing,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, a real estate data firm and brokerage. Not only did wealthier buyers have the money to purchase homes, but they were also the only ones who could qualify under tighter mortgage standards.

Other factors in the construction industry have amplified this tendency. “Lot availability has declined,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. As lots become more scarce and expensive, and construction costs go up, builder profit margins get squeezed. It makes economic sense for developers to build larger homes, Sitchinava says.

Also, foreclosures are still happening, and homes that are foreclosed tend to be small- to medium-sized. Although the distressed sales rate has come down, it’s still about 23,000 per month, according to Attom Data Solutions, formerly known as RealtyTrac, a firm that tracks foreclosure. That’s more than twice the rate in 2000. With so many small- and medium-sized homes going through foreclosure, builders don’t have incentive to build homes on the smaller end. “It doesn’t make sense to make medium- to small-sized homes when there are so many existing homes that are not doing well,” Sitchinava says.

The result is not enough supply on the more affordable spectrum to meet the demand. As a result, prices of starter homes and small homes are rising at a faster rate than prices at the high end of the market.

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46 Responses to Tiny Houses? Yeah Right.

  1. grim says:

    So when is this new gas tax going live?

  2. Now Spanky, be reasonable says:

    Not soon enough – nothing I like better than handing over my hard earned wampum to the great state of New Jersey! In fact, I should just direct deposit my paycheck into the state coffers and then live off the generosity of their handouts.

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Manhattan Luxury Rent Prices Are Growing at Their Slowest Pace Since 2010

    Renters in the New York City area are finally catching a break. According to a new report from listings website StreetEasy.com, rental prices are rising much more slowly than in recent years, with luxury apartments leading the slump.

    The price of Manhattan luxury rentals rose just 2.2 percent year-over-year in August, registering their slowest growth rate since 2010. That deceleration’s happening at a pace that’s caught even industry analysts by surprise. “I think we expected things to slowdown,” StreetEasy economist Krishna Rao said in a phone interview. Still, “the pace has been a little bit faster than we expected.”

    The data suggest rents are starting to reflect a trend that’s already taken hold of the for-sale market. High-end property sales have been struggling so far in 2016, with an excess of supply causing some developers to divide apartments into two, abandon projects or even take listings off the market completely.

    One of the reasons for the spillover, according to Rao, is the rise of buy-to-let: if investors purchase apartments at a lower cost, they can rent them out at a lower cost too. According to StreetEasy, “flips” — or apartments sold and then rented on StreetEasy within 60 days — accounted for 12.4 percent of inventory in the luxury market in January-through-May.

    The lower end of the rental market has been faring better, with prices rising 4.4 percent year-over-year for Manhattan’s least expensive price group. This has helped hold up average prices, despite softness at the higher end. Pooling all segments gives Manhattan a 2.9 percent year-over-year growth rate last month, half of what it was a year ago but still well above the 1.9 percent growth seen in April.

    The data also show local variation. Some areas of the market are still exhibiting strong growth, such as East Brooklyn and Midtown, while others are stagnating.

  4. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Christie defends ending tax pact with Pa., which will cost some N.J. residents more

    Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that a nearly four-decade old tax agreement with Pennsylvania has allowed wealthy residents from across the river to “game the system.”

    The governor has called for an end to that reciprocal tax agreement, which allows New Jerseyans and Pennsylvanians working across state lines to pay taxes where they live, rather than where they work.

    Each state has about 120,000 residents who work in the other.

    Terminating the deal is expected to bring in another $180 million annually in tax revenue to Trenton, and cost Harrisburg about $5 million a year. Christie announced earlier this month that he was withdrawing from the agreement in order to bring in revenue.

    In an example provided by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, Pennsylvanians earning $1 million a year in New Jersey will see their state income tax liability more than double from $30,500 to $72,658.

    “People across the state in north Jersey and coastal southern New Jersey could very well ask why do we have a tax compact with Pennsylvania, which allows wealthy people to work in New Jersey, to live in Bucks County, and to pay no income tax in New Jersey.”

  5. grim says:

    Also from the Star Ledger:

    N.J. minimum wage will increase next year

    New Jersey’s minimum wage, a matter of dispute between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the Democratic Legislature, will go up six cents on Jan. 1 to $8.44 an hour, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    It will be New Jerseyans’ first increase since January 2015, when it increased from $8.25 an hour to the current $8.38. The minimum wage did not increase this year because there was no rise in the state’s cost of living.

    The six-cent hike reflects a small bump in the consumer price index, which by constitutional amendment is used to set the minimum wage each year.

    Proponents of a $15 minimum wage said the adjustment is helpful but far from satisfies low-income workers’ need for a living wage.

    Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s (D-Hudson) office on Friday described the increase as “paltry” in the face of poverty and the state’s high cost of living.

    “As I’ve said before, the current minimum wage law was a good effort, but we clearly need to do more,” Prieto said. “We need an actual living wage if we’re to lift families out of poverty, and this current level isn’t enough.”

  6. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:

    I’ve taken measures to insure that my tax liability doesn’t increase. So, personally, this doesn’t fry my onions. Those most affected work in Trenton and Philly, and a lot of them are state employees. I haven seen stats but I’m guessing that the percentage of private sector PA residents paying more isn’t significant.

    Whether this is a net tax win for Harrisburg remains to be seen. Tax projections are guesswork at best. But it could net a benefit for PA.

    ATEOTD, Christie isn’t flipping off PA aa much as he’s flipping off Sweeney.

  7. grim says:

    I was under the impression that this was beneficial for both state tax rolls, but the net benefit accruing to PA was smaller than to NJ.

  8. grim says:

    Probably more interesting will be the repercussions on Philly wage taxes that this causes…

    …like the increase in real estate taxes across the state to make up for the 50% in budget losses that eliminating the wage tax would have.

  9. grim says:

    From the Courier Post:

    RABBLE ROUSER: Leaving NJ was a smart move

    I still remember when I moved back to the metro Philadelphia area 11 years ago and settled in Voorhees. Since then, I have experienced what is the norm for New Jersey governance.

    I watched my real estate taxes go up and up and winced when I heard complaints from people who didn’t even pay real estate taxes because they didn’t get a rebate I didn’t quality for. I watched the state Legislature focus on non-issues like “Bridgegate” while urban schools continued to be mediocre in spite of the massive infusion of tax dollars dictated by the courts. I watched my county pick up the tab for policing in Camden because it didn’t have enough money but managed to afford larger city government staffs.

    It is obvious that state and local governments are dysfunctional. The only thing that changed every year was the cost, which always went up, never down, contrary to election-year promises. Every election, the voters validated the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result.

    The fossilized members of New Jersey government are incapable of changing the problems they are responsible for creating but they get re-elected over and over with the claim they can.

    What is a sane person to do? I had only two options: accept the status quo or change it. Since I can’t change state and county government by myself, I could only change my address.

    With the singular act of moving to another state, I reduced my property taxes by 75 percent and my state taxes by 100 percent. The schools where I live now seem to work better and in general things seems to run smoother.

    This is not to say I moved to paradise. Every community has issues. But the issues here pale in comparison to the issues in New Jersey.

  10. Steamturd thinking Cankles should be included in the hyper incarceration says:

    “RABBLE ROUSER: Leaving NJ was a smart move”

    It takes a special person to write a letter like this. Kudos to him.

  11. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:


    Possibly. But there are a lot of metrics to consider including rates, county or muni income tax in PA, deductions, overall differences in structure, etc. Those who are burned most are high earners from PA and low earners from NJ. The former camp can also engage in income-shifting but that has its own risk-reward metrics (e.g., NJ attorney lives in Bucks but has office in Princeton; he shifts work to office in Bucks. And if it is a home office, now he has additional deduction).

    I consider it a lot of ado about nothing for now.

  12. Ben says:

    I’m sympathetic to a lot of what he wrote…but the idea that the schools function better is far fetched. Most NJ suburbs schools are very well functioning. Most of this is a credit to the teachers as opposed to the boards and the administrations. The abbotts are a complete disaster. It’s a tale of two cities.

  13. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:


    On my way up to Mass on Wed night, just for grins, I detoured through the Brig.

    And that’s when it hit me: I don’t miss it. I don’t miss it at all. I didn’t even stop there, just got onto 22 and headed back to the GSP.

  14. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:


    Not much difference between UCFSD and the Brig. Both “blue ribbon” districts that produce smart kids.

    But my property tax is half of what it is in NJ. And I’m in an expensive jurisdiction. And the bus gets her at the end of my driveway.

  15. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:

    Heard the latest flap about Trymp using NOLs from a 1995 tax
    loss recognition. This is a nonstory. In fact, the story here shouldn’t be about Trumps ridiculously uninteresting 1995 NOL, it should be about why this story is a story. Because to me, that is the real story. Get the story?

  16. Juice Box says:

    The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was possibly illegally published by the failing NY Times. Dean Baquet has said he was willing to go to jail over it, might as well make his wish come true. What do they have now about 1 million digital subscribers and 600,00 print circulation? It is going to take more than a couple of stories on Donald Trump to boost their circulation enough to keep the NY Times from going under.

  17. NeverTrump (the good one) says:

    “With the singular act of moving to another state,

    I reduced my property taxes by 75 percent and my state taxes by 100 percent.

    The schools where I live now seem to work better and in general things seems to run smoother.”

  18. NeverTrump (the good one) says:


    How do you lose $916 million running a casino?

    That can’t be easy.

  19. NeverTrump (the good one) says:


    There are 2 options:

    Trump is a bad businessman who really loses lots of money;

    or Trump uses fake, paper losses to avoid tax on real income

  20. NeverTrump (the good one) says:


    To sum up:

    Republicans who, four years ago, blasted middle class voters for paying no taxes,
    are praising Trump for not paying taxes.

  21. NeverTrump (the good one) says:

    unromantic about politics,
    personally non-sociopathic –

    who wants that in a president?

    Isn’t the new secret audio of Clinton speaking to donors actually somewhat reassuring?

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:

    I think I understand why Fabian likes the NYT so much. Gotta read into this a bit and compare their respective positions on “uncertain” tax postures.


  23. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:

    God, the twitiot is back.

    I’ve forgotten more about taxes than jbarro and the twitiot combined.

    Well, I’m off to watch some football and baseball. Everyone enjoy whatever else you’re doing this Sunday

  24. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:

    Goddamned voice software.

    I’ve forgotten more about taxes than jbarro and the twitiot ever knew, combined.

  25. Ben says:


    no doubt. But keep in mind, you can’t pay teachers here the same you would out there and expect similar performance. At the end of the day, teachers have to live here as well. As it stands, I commute over 2 hours a day to my district so I can live a decent standard of living. If I lived anywhere near my district, I’d be living in an apartment.

  26. Essex says:

    i’m not an expert on journalism, but i gund the right’s narrative of the Times decline domewhat hackneyed.

  27. Essex says:

    Of course only suckers like ‘me’ pay taxes:

    The New York Times has excited the Clinton campaign and the rest of the media with a revelation that Republican nominee Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 that might have resulted in him not paying taxes in some subsequent years.
    The implication, reinforced by CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday morning, is that Trump “avoided” paying taxes, when in fact his tax liability was zero.


    But the Times itself has “avoided” paying taxes — in 2014, for example.

    As Forbes noted at the time:

    … for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again.

    New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Trump on Sunday, telling NBC News’ Meet the Press that Trump was a “genius” in business who was simply doing what the tax code allows every American to do by counting losses against tax liabilities, and bouncing back from failure to success.

    That would include the New York Times — which, however, is still struggling.

    As Jazz Shaw of HotAir.com notes, the Times — or whoever was its source — likely obtained Trump’s tax document illegally.


    The ongoing IRS scandal, in which the federal government targeted conservative organizations, involved several cases in which the agency illegally shared taxpayer information with other branches of government, and in one case leaked taxpayer information to a conservative organization’s political opponents.

    In 2008, the confidential tax information of Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, who emerged as a critic of then-Sen. Barack Obama, was leaked illegally by an Ohio state official.

    Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News

  28. STEAMturd knows hyper incarceration makes hyper gentrification oh so much easier says:

    Teachers should be paid more, but their benefits should be in line with what is standard in the private sector for non-management positions. There. Problem solved. Someone alert the union.

  29. D-FENS says:


    Summing up, Trump Co followed the law & paid no taxes twenty years ago, leaked by the @nytimes which broke the law & paid no taxes in 2014.

  30. Ironically, the NY Times paid not taxes in 2014. For some reason the link isn’t making it through, but you can get it at drudge’s site.

  31. /big-journalism/2016/10/02/new-york-times-paid-no-taxes-2014/

  32. LOL. grim – Did you know that your spam filter doesn’t allow wwwbreitbartcom links? Hillary is a cunt.

  33. Remove 666 from the above link.

  34. Main article – My guess is that Erin Marie Carlyle, previously of Forbes.com, now writing for “Houzz” is not the brightest bulb in the ceiling fan. I further think that her having lived in about 10 of the most expensive markets in the country (recently NYC) leads me to think she is a serial renter who is not to in touch with any SFH markets. Here’s her previous self-written profile at Forbes. 39 year-old single, as far as I can tell.

    I’m a staff writer at Forbes covering real estate: from ultra-luxury homes to foreclosures to the people making the deals happen. Until recently, I was a member of our Forbes wealth team, crunching numbers for our Forbes 400 and World’s Billionaires lists. Before that I investigated a former Hell’s Angel for the City Pages of Minneapolis, trekked to the U.S.-Mexico border with the Minutemen for the Orange County Register, and exposed Michael Jackson’s property tax problems for the Santa Maria Times. A born and bred Westerner with strong ties in Minnesota, I love calling NYC home. Twitter: erin_carlyle. Got tips? Email me at ecarlyle@forbes.com.

  35. Here’s her current profile, emphasis on “Former Forbes real estate reporter”. I guess when Houzz calls, you can’t pass that opportunity up.


  36. Fabius Maximus says:

    Rudy’s hypocrisy is stunning.

    “And I think your bringing up my personal life really is kind of irrelevant to what Hillary Clinton did. She’s running for president, I’m not,” said Giuliani,


    Bills infidelity is fair game even though he’s not running.

  37. Fabius Maximus says:

    NYTimes taxes are irrelevant, but its the only thread they can clutch to. This release is devastating. He could keep spinning the audit BS line and deflect the no taxes, and charity giving as speculation. Now its hard facts. Its fun watching the spin of, losing almost a billion dollars in a year as “Genius”

    Apparently the docs came out of Trump Tower. I’m sure the witch hunt has started.
    Will we see this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcFlp6kl508

  38. Comrade Nom Deplume, the Deplumiest. says:


    I will concede that the release is “devastating”. It’s devastating to Trump because most of the 47% know less about taxes than you (or you know better but just like shitting on everyone else’s lawn).

    And it’s devastating to our polity because the tactics of the left are coming right out of Nixon’s playbook. And the left is just fine with that. But ibdoubt they fully comprehend that which they reap.

  39. chicagofinance says:

    Can you please stop using this word? It actually really bothers me.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    October 2, 2016 at 8:16 pm
    Hillary is a cunt.

  40. chifi – Stop being a vagina.

  41. That’s why you two are so close.

    Fabius Maximus says:
    October 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm
    NYTimes taxes are irrelevant

  42. chifi – stop being such a v@gina.

  43. NeverTrump (the good one) says:


    Pretty funny reading how @realDonaldTrump is itching to go after Clinton marriage –

    the only person he’s ever been loyal to is Vladimir Putin

  44. NeverTrump (the good one) says:

    No. We’re too busy working on story about Hillary getting special instructions through her fillings.

    @brithume are you going to report on Hillarys teleprompter and Lesters ear piece during the debate?

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