Luxury buyers spurn square footage, focus on amenities

February 08, 2014 10:00AM

 Sprawling luxury homes are falling out of favor, according to brokers. Well-heeled buyers across America are now opting for less square footage, while demanding just as many amenities.

“I think smaller has many more advantages than larger,” Joanne Montgomery told the Wall Street Journal.  Montgomery recently purchased a luxury home on Washington’s Puget Sound that measures a mere 1,888 square feet. “You want to have a place that is beautiful but not overbearing on your life, especially if you have multiple homes.”

Big has always been the defining adjective when it comes to America luxury home building, with the average size of newly built homes growing from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to over 2,500 square feet today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But brokers told the Journal that buyers are increasingly looking to shave off square footage, prioritizing quality over quantity.

“I’ve sold a lot of massive houses in my 20 years. My clients typically tell me when they go to sell, ‘We will never need that much space again,’ ” said Mikel Muffley, a broker with Muffley & Assoc., custom builder of small homes in Atlanta. [WSJ] Christopher Cameron