G'day Michael Here's the original report that CommSec commissioned from the ABS: Australian homes are biggest in the world According to the above, and due to the GFC, Americans are building smaller houses, yet Australians just keep building them bigger. It seems that many want to know why this is? Finding out is something that I have well down on my list of priorities as this particular trend has little bearing on my thesis. However, rather than just relying on my personal experience (bias?) from working and studying in the wide field of land use planning - and thus collecting anecdotal evidence that suggests Australian houses are getting bigger in order to match bigger egos, and bigger expected market returns - I have conducted a quick search through the popular media, and as such have uncovered the following responses: Living Large (CBS 60 Minutes: 2006) Are McMansions Going Out of Style? (NY Times: 2005) Why homes are getting bigger (ABC Brisbane - Bernard Salt Interview: 2009) From the above (Bernard Salt hits the nail right on the head, I reckon), it does seem that US houses are getting (fractionally) smaller, yet on average, Australian houses are trending bigger. In the case of the latter, it also seems that this is due to pretty much what I suspected - status, and an expected high rate of capital return. Sure, people will always argue that they need a bigger house because they work out of it, or they want to give their kids (dogs, cats, cockatoos, cars...) a room each - 'we just can't possibly live without our parents' retreat, our home theatre, a bath/powder room for each of us...'. However, I will always argue that it is simply just a matter of greed. Of course, those who live in McMansions will counter this view with 'oh, you are just jealous'. My final response to this attitude will always be ' not at all, and certainly not when considering the size of your debt, energy bill, ecological footprint, ad infinitum... My guess is Australian house size will follow the US in 2-3 years time, and slowly start to trend downwards. However, I think it will be the ecological crisis that finally acts as the catalyst for change among people living in the affluent world and maybe, just maybe, only then will communal living come back into vogue. Either that, or people will just have to contend with eating each other. Cheerio, Markus. Oh, and if you trace back through the cited references in the Commsec report, you should be able to find out the individual definitions and methodologies for determining average house sizes at each of the corresponding agencies. M.