McMansions: Repercussions (06-12-19)

Bellet studied the implications of building large new homes in neighborhoods.  He reports that “Despite a major upscaling of single-family houses since 1980, house satisfaction has remained steady in American suburbs. . . . Combining data from the American Housing Surveys with a geolocalised dataset of three million suburban houses, I find that new constructions at the top of the house size distribution lower the satisfaction that neighbors derive from their own house size. Upward-looking comparisons are stronger among people living in larger houses and decrease with the distance from McMansions. I provide further evidence that homeowners exposed to the construction of big houses in their neighborhood put lower prices on their home, are more likely to upscale to a bigger house and take up more debt.”

Clement Bellet. 2019.  “The McMansion Effect:  Top Size Inequality, House Satisfaction and Home Improvement in U.S. Suburbs.”  SSRN,