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Buyers beginning to want bigger homes

Homeowners becoming more confident with real estate market

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The sizes of new houses sold on the real estate market shrunk, right along with America's economy.

But according to local Realtors, buyers in north Florida have a renewed appetite for three- to four-, even five-bedroom properties. Channel 4 talked with a local Realtor to find out what's sparking the new trend.

Until recently, home buyers had been backing away from large homes in centrally located subdivisions, unsure if the housing market would re-emerge from a slow and seemingly dismal state.

But some call it a sign of the times -- buyers want bigger nowadays.

The median size of a new single family home increased nationally from 2,169 square feet to 2,223 square feet this year.

"People are realizing they may now keep their jobs," said Howard Flaschen, of Roundtable Realty. "They're not as worried as before and they're buying bigger homes."

Flaschen said new homes offer more bang for buyers' bucks. Just like a car offering a certain amount of miles per gallon, new homes are built to save you money over the years.

"The homes nowadays are more energy efficient," Flaschen said. "Buyers are realizing over time they'll save money on electricity, water bills, and that comes with a new home for a lower price."

Flaschen said the demand is also growing for homes in convenient areas. Buyers are looking for easier lifestyles and they're more confident in the real estate market than ever before.

"Before the real estate market fell apart, you found more and more people were moving farther and farther away from cities into bigger houses," Flascher said. "Now that things have shifted, we're seeing homeowners wanting to live closer and save money on gas, etc., and be closer in."