Appetite For Big Houses Keeps Growing

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Experts say the phrase "bigger is better" fits the current trend in homes.

The Census Bureau says one in five American houses had at least four bedrooms in 2005. That's up from one in six in 1990, despite shrinking families and increasing costs for construction and energy.

And it's happening everywhere from the suburbs of Washington and Atlanta, to southern Connecticut and out West in Utah.

In fact, Utah leads the nation with nearly 40 percent of homes having at least four bedrooms.

As Utah mother Valerie Astle put it, "Our kids have more stuff. They need more living space."

The United Nations says American homes, on average, are nearly twice as large as those in many European countries, including Britain, France and Germany. Only Luxembourg comes close among European nations.

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