A lot of that is driven simply by image.
When I moved here from the Prairies, it was interesting to discover how different the houses were here: far greater emphasis on exterior look, far less on practicality.
I moved here just as a new 100-lot subdivision was being developed, and was one of the first to build in it. I think my plan (having been designed by myself, with my prairie mindset) was practical and efficient, but still fit into the neighbourhood. At least, it passed the design controls.
As homes were being built in that subdivision, I walked through nearly every one. I was stunned, to say the least, by the lack of interest in practicality. In fact, I began to wonder whether some of those designers considered practicality an infringement on design, a detraction from creativity.
Over the next years I also learned that, “the more gables facing the street, the better.” Then it moved on to “the steeper the pitch of those gables, the better.”
For a long period of time it was “the bigger the house, the better,” too. It’s still that for some, but not so widespread anymore. Things keep evolving.