Saturday, May 3, 2014


Are we going to follow our Japanese friends and say sayonara to larger living space? In the last few months more than one developer mentioned to me to be ready to design very small homes, the so called small-lot homes. It seems that after this economic, and real estate, downturn a substantial percentage of people are apprehensive about moving into so-called conventional size homes with larger mortgage commitments. Not just here in California, all across the USA. The "trend", especially for young urban professionals, is to get their own place, but near work and with low or no maintenance requirements, like big lawns and gardens.

So, many developers are designing and building new "small size" homes on tiny lots. The difference between these projects and actual condominiums is that there are no common areas, there is no annoying HOA's to deal with, everything is yours. It's a typical single family dwelling, but smaller.

This concept grew out of a 2005 Los Angeles City ordinance that aimed to add more affordable housing to the pool of housing starts in densely populated neighborhoods. This new ordinance cut the minimum size of lots for single family dwellings from 5,000 sq.ft. to 600 sq.ft. -- a substantial reduction.

Well, here at PE&A we've always said no project is too small.

What are your thoughts on this trend?

Re-posted from our newsletter originally sent on 8/6/2013