According to an interview with builder Jeffrey Collé published yesterday, ostentatious mega-mansions are out and smaller trophy houses (but with luxurious details) are in. "Collé's new 'sweet spot' is 8-10 million dollar homes that forgo the ostentatious square-footage of the past. [?] 'Honestly, I think people want to be more respectful of what's going on in the economy,' Collé said. 'People are struggling. I don't think people want to push that in someone's face. That there's this vast difference in the way people live.'"
This dovetails with what Joe Farrell said in the New York Times in August. "Where Mr. Farrell built speculative homes that sold for as much as $20 million before the recession, he now specializes in properties that sell for between $3 million and $10 million. 'Mostly, though, $3 million to $6,' he said. 'I love that market—there are probably 10 times as many people in that market than to buy an eight- or nine-million-dollar house, right?'"
Hm. While we're sure these two men know better than us what their customers want, maybe it's not that ostentation is out, but rather just a change in fashion. From unwelcoming cavernous houses to smaller, more liveable, more cozy homes. Not everyone aspires to have their living room resemble a hotel lobby, even if they're super-wealthy. Maybe the gambrels on steroids of the mid-2000s were just a passing fad, a blip. Or maybe with the financial sector doing well, there are more newly minted millionaires looking for their $8 million starter mansion.
· As luxury housing market rebounds, new mansions are more modest [Marketplace.org]