In a move that will forever change the opening montage of the Sopranos, Real Houswives of New Jersey, and Mob Wives (yes, I have watched these last two), Slate is heralding "The Death Of The McMansion." The article notes that the "the long recessionary cold-shower will dampen the exuberance that characterized the boom years of 2000 to 2005," and inspire people to seek smaller homes that are closer together. Urban town homes and housing closer to cities or urban centers are also likely to grow in popularity as rising gas prices increase the cost of commuting. These same rising costs will make "large houses with soaring entryways and expansive family rooms," which were so popular in the recent past, less popular in the future. On the flip side, the article forecasts fewer big houses on big lots, and fewer "planned communities in the distant hinterland." Of course, the author does posit a possible alternate future than the one the current data appears to forecast:
An alternative scenario is that American optimism will prevail and it will be business as usual, as happened during the boom of the 1950s following the Great Depression, or during the period following the Energy Crisis of 1973, when car buyers, after a brief flirtation with Japanese compact cars, embraced minivans and SUVs. But I wouldn't count on it.
For the sake of future casts of trashy reality television, lets hope this latter prediction holds true.