SOURCE: Trulia


June 20, 2012 13:00 ET

Trulia Reports Interest in Super-Sized Homes Nearly Doubles in Past Year

Americans Optimistic About Housing Recovery: 58 Percent Believe Home Prices Will Return to Bubble-Era Highs Within 10 Years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 20, 2012) - Trulia today released the results of its American Dream survey, which has tracked American attitudes towards homeownership since 2008. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on behalf of Trulia among 2,205 U.S. adults, age 18 and over, between May 22 - 24 and among 2,230 U.S. adults, age 18 and older, between June 4-6, 2012.


  • Optimism Runs Ahead of Housing Market Reality: With prices rising quarter over quarter in 86 of the 100 largest U.S. metros in May, according to the Trulia Price Monitor, it's not surprising that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Americans believe home prices in their local market will rise in the next year. However, American's hope for a real estate market bounce-back may be too high. Even though prices in many markets reached unprecedented and unsustainable levels during the boom, 58 percent of Americans believe home prices in their local markets will return to their previous high in the next 10 years.

  • Return of Super-Sized Homes: After veering away from super-sized homes throughout the recession, Americans are yet again attracted to the idea of bigger homes. According to the survey, more than 1 in 4 (27 percent) Americans who believe home ownership is part of achieving their personal American Dream said that their ideal home size is over 2,600 square feet -- up from 17 percent in 2011. In fact, interest in homes of more than 3,200 square feet nearly doubled in the last year from 6 percent in 2011 to 11 percent in 2012.

Ideal Home Size
Size (Square Footage) 2011Q31 2012Q2
800 to 1,400 9% 8%
1,401 to 2,000 32% 29%
2,001 to 2,600 27% 25%
2,601 to 3,200 12% 16%
More than 3,200 6% 11%
  • Starter Home Reality Check: Homeownership remains central to the American Dream. In fact, 72 percent said owning a home is part of achieving their personal American Dream. Among renters, 78 percent -- many of whom may be first-time homebuyers -- aspire to buy a home at some point in the future. However, most have unrealistic expectations about their prospective starter home. When surveying renters on what amenities would make them fall in love with a home if they were in the market for a home today, the top amenities were a master bathroom (62 percent), walk-in closet (56 percent) and gourmet kitchen (50 percent)2. However, there is a clear disconnect between what renters want and the reality of what actual homeowners said they had in their first home. Only 26 percent of homeowners said that they had an en-suite master bathroom in their first home, while just 35 percent had a walk-in closet and 9 percent had a gourmet kitchen.
Real Estate Expectations vs. Reality: Hard Pill to Swallow
Amenity Renter Dreams2 First-Time Homeowner Realities
En-suite master bathroom 62% 26%
Walk-in closet 56% 35%
Gourmet kitchen 50% 9%
Outdoor deck 50% 28%
Wood floors 47% 35%
Pre-wired entertainment system 31% 7%
Pool 24% 10%
Hot tub 22% 6%

1 Conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Trulia from Aug 30-Sept 1, 2011, methodology below.

2 Conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Trulia from Jan 30-Feb 1, 2012, methodology below.


  • "After years of broken housing dreams, it's refreshing to see people voicing some optimism," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's Chief Economist. "But looking at our survey findings, the pendulum may have swung a little too far. Prices have started to turn around in most markets, but that doesn't mean they'll return to their pre-bubble highs in the next decade."

  • "Most people in markets that had the biggest price bubbles -- like Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Detroit -- expect local home prices to get back up to their previous highs in the next decade," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's Chief Economist. "Although optimism helps the housing recovery, this much optimism about house prices could put us right back on the path to the next housing bubble."

  • "As the economy recovers, people are dreaming bigger, but most won't realize their dreams anytime soon," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's Chief Economist. "Few homebuyers -- and even fewer first-timers -- can afford 3,000 square feet and a gourmet kitchen. Buyers need to take a hard look at what they can actually afford, and give themselves some cushion in case a Euro crisis or federal budget battle pushes us back into recession."


  • To listen to a replay of Trulia's Chief Economist Jed Kolko discussing the results of the survey and other insights into the real estate market (available after 9/21), click here.
  • To download Jed's presentation of the survey findings, click here.
  • To download an infographic on the growing demand for super-sized homes, click here

Trulia's American Dream survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Trulia from May 22-24, 2012 among 2,205 adults ages 18 and older and June 4-6, 2012 among 2,230 adults. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, click here.

Trulia gives home buyers, sellers, owners and renters the inside scoop on properties, places and real estate professionals. Trulia has unique info on the areas people want to live that can't be found anywhere else: users can learn about agents, neighborhoods, schools, crime and even ask the local community questions. Real estate professionals use Trulia to connect with millions of transaction-ready buyers and sellers each month via our hyper local advertising services, social recommendations and top-rated mobile apps. Trulia is headquartered in downtown San Francisco and is backed by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, Inc.

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