Houses are getting smaller, according to data released last week by the National Association of Home Builders.

The association said that the average size of a new home in 2009 was 2,480 square feet, down from 2,520 square feet in 2008.

The era of easy money is over. You really have to think before you go out and decide you need that five-bedroom, five-bath home, said Rose Quint, the organization's assistant vice president for survey research.

Despite smaller home sizes and tightening credits, there are still some features that are expected in new houses. Builders say the following are most likely to be standard in homes built in 2010:

  • Walk-in closets in the master bedroom.
  • Laundry rooms.
  • Insulated front doors.
  • Great rooms.
  • Energy-efficient windows.
  • Linen closets.
  • Programmable thermostats.
  • Energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
  • Separate shower and tub in master bathrooms.
  • Nine-foot ceilings on the first floor.

Source: MarketWatch, Steve Kerch