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Despite Economy Most Homeowners Not Downsizing

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether a millennial, Gen Xer or baby boomer, homeowners overwhelmingly want their next home to be the same size or larger than their current home, according to a recent PulteGroup Home Index (PGHI) survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM).  This latest PGHI survey polled current homeowners on size and feature preferences for their next home. 

"It was interesting to see that 84 percent of homeowners ages 18-59 don't have plans to downsize their next home, even among baby boomers," said Deborah Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of PulteGroup.  "The PGHI survey results also show that today's buyers are equally focused on smarter use of the spaces within their homes.  We invest significant time and resources in understanding our consumers, and when combined with efficient product design, PulteGroup is able to offer homes that live bigger and can meet consumer preferences."

Further proof that increased house size is on the rise comes from recent U.S. Census Bureau data which indicates the average size of a newly built home was 2,480 square feet in 2011, which is an increase of 3.7 percent from 2010.  This represents the first annual increase since 2007.

Generational Differences   More than half of millennials, homeowners between the ages of 18-34, would like their next home to be larger than their current home with 68 percent of those respondents saying the larger home would be used to accommodate their growing family.  Meanwhile, showing the diversity of Gen Xers, nearly 40 percent of respondents ages 35-54 want a larger home to accommodate a growing family (37 percent) and need more room and storage space (29 percent).

One of the most interesting survey results came from baby boomer respondents.  Only 28 percent of those ages 55-59 said they want their next home to be smaller, citing retirement and becoming an empty nester as the top reasons for downsizing.

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