Since the International Builders' Show in January, real estate news media have been discussing the strongest trends in housing for the coming year, the most interesting of which is the National Association of Home Builders' latest data showing that houses are trending smaller after years of steady bloating. The reign of oversized McMansions may be over, as Americans around the country recognize the higher costs these homes incur initially and over years of ownership.

The results of a new survey indicate that consumers are seeking to downsize and economize and that builders are starting to adjust to this new generation of home buyers. Read the story from SmartMoney.

Maximizing utility and flexibility of space in smaller homes is a must for builders hoping to sell to these McMansion-phobic buyers. Read the MarketWatch story.