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楼市出现缩水式通胀,新房面积越来越小

Alena Botros
2024-03-14

缩水式通胀蔓延到了房地产市场。

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虽然巨型豪宅并没有消失,但房子面积确实在缩水。人口普查数据显示,2023年,中位数新房面积降至十多年来的最低水平。2022年至2023年,中位数独栋住宅面积缩小约4%,降至自2010年以来的最低水平。

或许入门级住宅将不复存在。大约一年前,房地产市场数据公司Zonda的首席经济学家阿里·沃尔夫对我表示,300,000美元的入门级住宅将会消失。全美300,000美元以下的新房项目占比下降。这背后的原因需要追溯到几年前。

新冠疫情刺激房地产市场蓬勃发展。人们居家办公,需要更多的空间,而且他们可以按照自己的意愿搬家。史上最低的抵押贷款利率也促进了市场的发展。需求带动房价上涨,而且不久之后,受到整体经济环境的影响,抵押贷款利率涨至二十多年的最高水平(使建筑成本和土地价值上涨)。总之,由于房屋可负担性下降,房屋建筑商开始建设小户型住宅。

建筑商无法改变土地成本、建筑成本,或者房价上涨的幅度,但他们能够改变房屋面积。他们的做法并非重新建设300,000美元的入门级住宅。沃尔夫的团队甚至把入门级住宅定义为400,000美元以下的住宅。

于是就发生了缩水式通胀:房屋面积缩水,但房价却没有真正下降。需要说明的是,过去两年,中位数新房售价小幅下降:2022年10月房价最高时为496,800美元,到今年1月降至420,700美元,但有许多因素导致房价下降,其中一个因素就是房屋面积变小。更不用说,根据Zonda的数据,从2018年开始的近四年间,新房价格持续上涨,而当时房屋面积在五年期限内已经开始缩水。从2023年12月到今年1月,新房中位数售价实际上呈上涨趋势,从413,000美元上涨到420,700美元,这或许意味着在过去两年,房价的下行趋势只是临时现象。

2023年5月,《财富》杂志报道称,由于房屋可负担性危机,建筑商别无选择,只能建设面积更小的住宅。当时,约翰·伯恩斯研究咨询公司(John Burns Research and Consulting)的建筑产品研究高级副总裁马特·桑德斯告诉《财富》杂志:“建筑商确实在积极解决可负担性危机,他们选择的一个主要手段是缩小房屋面积。”

然而,桑德斯的研究根据对建筑商的年度调查发现,这并不是统一缩小面积,而是房屋内部空间的权衡取舍。厨房和一层户外空间或后院,似乎比次卧或客房更加重要。桑德斯解释道,这种趋势可以追溯到新冠疫情之前,但因为疫情而加快,而且随着时间推移,这种趋势会持续下去,因为大约一半的受访者预计明年新房的面积会变得越来越小。他的团队预测,2023年新建独栋住宅的平均面积缩小了约3%,今年将缩水2%。

三个多月后,《财富》杂志报道称,建筑商再次通过建造更小的住宅,解决房屋可负担性问题。来自Zonda的沃尔夫对《财富》杂志表示,在2018年8月至2023年8月期间,美国的新房面积从2,681平方英尺(约249.07平方米)下降到2,420平方英尺(约224.83平方米),在五年内下降了10%。

她说:“建筑商日益意识到当前可负担性危机的严重程度,要想继续成功,他们必须有所作为。他们正在试图通过缩小房屋整体面积,帮助降低总体房价。”

Livabl by Zonda的一项调查发现,关于是否会改变产品以降低成本和售价,建筑商排在第一位的回答是建设面积更小的房屋。与桑德斯一样,沃尔夫提到她的团队认为这是“合适的面积”,因为建筑商正在想方设法削减无用的空间。这种趋势在新冠疫情之前就已经出现,只是疫情期间曾经有一小段时间,建筑商们会建设面积略大的住宅,以满足人们的需求。

沃尔夫说:“在新冠疫情之前,房屋总体面积就已经开始缩小,所以这实际上是延续了先前的趋势。这是因为,早在疫情之前,我们就担心可负担性问题,直到今天,这仍然是建筑商们关注的焦点。”(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

虽然巨型豪宅并没有消失,但房子面积确实在缩水。人口普查数据显示,2023年,中位数新房面积降至十多年来的最低水平。2022年至2023年,中位数独栋住宅面积缩小约4%,降至自2010年以来的最低水平。

或许入门级住宅将不复存在。大约一年前,房地产市场数据公司Zonda的首席经济学家阿里·沃尔夫对我表示,300,000美元的入门级住宅将会消失。全美300,000美元以下的新房项目占比下降。这背后的原因需要追溯到几年前。

新冠疫情刺激房地产市场蓬勃发展。人们居家办公,需要更多的空间,而且他们可以按照自己的意愿搬家。史上最低的抵押贷款利率也促进了市场的发展。需求带动房价上涨,而且不久之后,受到整体经济环境的影响,抵押贷款利率涨至二十多年的最高水平(使建筑成本和土地价值上涨)。总之,由于房屋可负担性下降,房屋建筑商开始建设小户型住宅。

建筑商无法改变土地成本、建筑成本,或者房价上涨的幅度,但他们能够改变房屋面积。他们的做法并非重新建设300,000美元的入门级住宅。沃尔夫的团队甚至把入门级住宅定义为400,000美元以下的住宅。

于是就发生了缩水式通胀:房屋面积缩水,但房价却没有真正下降。需要说明的是,过去两年,中位数新房售价小幅下降:2022年10月房价最高时为496,800美元,到今年1月降至420,700美元,但有许多因素导致房价下降,其中一个因素就是房屋面积变小。更不用说,根据Zonda的数据,从2018年开始的近四年间,新房价格持续上涨,而当时房屋面积在五年期限内已经开始缩水。从2023年12月到今年1月,新房中位数售价实际上呈上涨趋势,从413,000美元上涨到420,700美元,这或许意味着在过去两年,房价的下行趋势只是临时现象。

2023年5月,《财富》杂志报道称,由于房屋可负担性危机,建筑商别无选择,只能建设面积更小的住宅。当时,约翰·伯恩斯研究咨询公司(John Burns Research and Consulting)的建筑产品研究高级副总裁马特·桑德斯告诉《财富》杂志:“建筑商确实在积极解决可负担性危机,他们选择的一个主要手段是缩小房屋面积。”

然而,桑德斯的研究根据对建筑商的年度调查发现,这并不是统一缩小面积,而是房屋内部空间的权衡取舍。厨房和一层户外空间或后院,似乎比次卧或客房更加重要。桑德斯解释道,这种趋势可以追溯到新冠疫情之前,但因为疫情而加快,而且随着时间推移,这种趋势会持续下去,因为大约一半的受访者预计明年新房的面积会变得越来越小。他的团队预测,2023年新建独栋住宅的平均面积缩小了约3%,今年将缩水2%。

三个多月后,《财富》杂志报道称,建筑商再次通过建造更小的住宅,解决房屋可负担性问题。来自Zonda的沃尔夫对《财富》杂志表示,在2018年8月至2023年8月期间,美国的新房面积从2,681平方英尺(约249.07平方米)下降到2,420平方英尺(约224.83平方米),在五年内下降了10%。

她说:“建筑商日益意识到当前可负担性危机的严重程度,要想继续成功,他们必须有所作为。他们正在试图通过缩小房屋整体面积,帮助降低总体房价。”

Livabl by Zonda的一项调查发现,关于是否会改变产品以降低成本和售价,建筑商排在第一位的回答是建设面积更小的房屋。与桑德斯一样,沃尔夫提到她的团队认为这是“合适的面积”,因为建筑商正在想方设法削减无用的空间。这种趋势在新冠疫情之前就已经出现,只是疫情期间曾经有一小段时间,建筑商们会建设面积略大的住宅,以满足人们的需求。

沃尔夫说:“在新冠疫情之前,房屋总体面积就已经开始缩小,所以这实际上是延续了先前的趋势。这是因为,早在疫情之前,我们就担心可负担性问题,直到今天,这仍然是建筑商们关注的焦点。”(财富中文网)

译者:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

The McMansion isn’t dead yet, but homes are shrinking. Last year the median new-home size fell to its lowest point in more than a decade, census data shows. The median single-family home size dropped roughly 4% between 2022 and 2023; it hasn’t been that small since 2010.

Maybe it’s the starter home that’s dead. Almost a year ago, Ali Wolf, chief economist at the housing-market data company Zonda, told me the $300,000 starter home was going extinct. The share of new-home projects under $300,000 was declining all across the country. We’ve got to go back a few years to understand why that is.

The pandemic fueled a housing boom. People were working from home and wanted more space, and they could move wherever they wanted. Historically low mortgage rates helped, too. Home prices skyrocketed in light of demand, and not too long after, mortgage rates reached a more than two-decade high as a result of surrounding economic conditions (which sent the cost of building and land values up, too). That’s all to say, housing affordability has deteriorated—so homebuilders are building smaller homes.

Builders can’t change the cost of land, or the cost to build, or how much home prices have gone up, but they can change home sizes. But it’s not really bringing back the $300,000 starter home. Wolf’s team has even changed their definition of entry-level to under $400,000.

That’s where shrinkflation comes in: Homes are shrinking, but prices aren’t really coming down. To be clear, the median sales price for new houses has fallen slightly over the past two years—at its peak in October 2022, it was $496,800, and as of January, it was $420,700—but there’s likely many factors at play, and smaller homes could be just one of them. Not to mention, new-home prices rose for roughly four years beginning in 2018, when home sizes started shrinking over a five-year period, per Zonda data. And from December of last year to January, the median sales price for new homes actually went up, from $413,000 to $420,700—perhaps a signal the downward trend in pricing over the past two years was temporary.

In May of 2023, Fortune reported that builders had no choice but to build smaller homes because of how unaffordable housing had become. “There’s really this active response by the builders to address these affordability concerns head-on, and one of the main kind of levers that they’re pulling is reducing home square footage,” Matt Saunders, senior vice president of building products research at John Burns Research and Consulting, told Fortune at the time.

However, Saunders’s research, based on an annual survey of architects, found it wasn’t a uniform reduction but rather a tradeoff within the home. Kitchens and ground-floor outdoor space, or backyards, were deemed more important than secondary bedrooms, or guest rooms. Saunders explained it was a trend that predated the pandemic, but accelerated with it—and would continue as time went on given that almost half of the survey’s respondents anticipated that new homes would be even smaller in square footage the next year. His team forecast that the average square footage for new single-family homes would decline by roughly 3% last year, and 2% this year.

More than three months later, Fortune reported builders were yet again solving for affordability constraints by building smaller homes. Zonda’s Wolf told Fortune that between August 2018 and August 2023, new homes across the country fell from 2,681 square feet to 2,420 square feet—a 10% reduction in five years.

“Builders have become increasingly aware of how bad affordability challenges are today and that they need to do something to continue to be successful,” she said. “And in this case, they’re trying to lower the overall home size to help lower the overall home price.”

A Livabl by Zonda survey found the number one answer builders gave in response to whether they were changing their product to lower costs and sales price, was yes, with smaller homes. Not unlike Saunders, Wolf mentioned her team viewed it as “right-sizing,” in that builders were looking for dead space to cut. And again, this was a pre-pandemic trend, although during the pandemic, there was a period of time when builders built slightly larger homes since that’s what people wanted.

“We were already starting to have a decline in overall home size going into the pandemic, and so this is really picking up where we left off,” Wolf said. “And that’s because even before the pandemic, we were concerned about affordability, and that’s still builders’ focus today.”

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