Aaron Lange has been building and selling houses for 20 years and has recently noticed something about the industry he once couldn’t have imagined.

More and more buyers are asking for less – not more — square footage.

“They’re actually asking for smaller houses,” said Lange, director of Winston-Salem’s Arden Group. “It’s kind of a sign of where we are with the vast majority of the buying public.”

Lange has two houses included on the 2017 Triad Parade of Homes, an event sponsored by the Greensboro Builders Association and the Homebuilders Association of Winston-Salem. The Parade kicked off last weekend and concludes this Saturday and Sunday with the showcasing of about 75 houses in and around Forsyth and Guilford counties.

One of Lange’s two featured houses is in Kernersville’s Welden Village, a massive development that will eventually include about 1,400 freestanding houses as well as hundreds of townhomes and apartments.

His second is in Meadowfield Run, a planned development in northern Davidson County.

Lange’s house in Welden Village is about 3,000 square feet. The one in Meadowfield Run is closer to 2,700 square feet.

Lange said both the residences include all the things that buyers these days are demanding: an open concept with quality finishes and a variety of hardwood floors. He said while buyers aren’t as concerned about the square footage they may once have been seeking, they’re not scrimping when it comes to amenities.

“They’re looking for higher quality,” he said. “Nicer packages in smaller houses.”

Baby boomers are a force

He noted that many of today’s buyers are of the baby boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964 who are aging (or have already aged) into senior citizen status. Lange said that while many members of that buying market once sought huge houses – sometimes 5,000 square feet or more – they’re downsizing as they grow older, no longer interested in cleaning rooms they don’t use, in climbing stairs that aren’t necessary.

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