Wages have been stagnant for 30 years, we've just now run out of credit/savings. I think there's going to be a trend toward deflation in the housing market (well, except for my neighborhood, we're special!) as energy costs really amp up. I remember driving with my mom past our "old" house when I was six. Even at six years old I knew it was a much nicer house in a better area and was much bigger. I asked why we moved and she bluntly said: "we couldn't afford to heat it." That was the oil mess in the 70's. Granted, it was over before most people had a decent wood pile to fall back on but its coming again and this time its going to stay, regardless of how efficient we can make our 4000sqft homes. Its not just the cost of heating/cooling a larger home, but the cost of building a larger home is going to skyrocket. The cost of wood, cement, roofing, siding, diesel for the equipment, glue for the OSB, everything is price right now on cheap oil. The size of a come will be determined by the cost of energy. If the price of heating oil goes to $10/gallon I doubt there will be many successful scroungers on this site. I'll end up closing up part of the house and opening it in the Summer. Can't wait to see what that will do to drywall!