I am amazed at the amount of space, resources and energy wasted in building and maintaining large mega-mansions. How much space and "stuff" do we need in order to live comfortably? Not very much. Hopefully the housing crash will make us all think harder about what our real needs are, how we are negatively impacting the environment, and lead to more sustainable, smaller, energy efficient, and affordable homes being built.
"Developers don't borrow money to build, they build to borrow money. All a house is to them is a way to use leverage to turn a cornfield into a more valuable crop, turning dirt into gold. It takes a huge amount of cash and without lenders it doesn't happen. Now the mortgage lenders are going broke, the hedge funds are shaking, and the quants, the rocket scientists, are proving to be like every other genius who makes money in a rising market but folds in the turn. As families see their houses sink in value and their subdivisions unfinished they will toss their keys to the lender and walk away; this is 1992 all over again, a speculative bubble has just burst and a lot of people who got caught in it are going to get hurt."
Dumb Question Dept : "Why is New Housing so Big and Lousy?" (TreeHugger)