I do think it's getting out of hand though. The idea of every bedroom having a bathroom and the kitchen having a second kitchen behind it (butler's pantry) is just nuts in my opinion. And what worries me is that once these things are out there they become standard, which is bad for housing affordability, bad for the environment and bad for the economy ultimately because our wealth is being tied up in non-productive assets. That said, I do think that if I were forced to live miles from anywhere I'd probably spend more time at home and want a starter castle myself by way of compensation.
I see what your saying, but to be honest, I don't think these things are getting out of hand, it's just smarter living in this day and age.
Butlers pantry's are a great idea today as Joles mentioned as kitchens are an integrated part of open plan living areas, whearas, older houses had the kitchen separated from the living areas.
Ensuites with older children are priceless. We don't have either of these, but it would've been nice.
Of course our house is an investment, when we eventually retire and our kids are moved out and never come back to stay, we will probably want to downsize.
There are still plenty of smaller houses on cottage blocks and units, which I think even's these big houses out.
We built our first house 5 years ago, and it was a 3x2 with one open plan living area. It was fine at the time, it was what we could afford, but within a year of being there, we fell pg with number 2 and needed something bigger, so built again. Not everyone is building these massive houses, there are still lots of people building something smaller.