Four years ago, the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) conducted a survey of builders and designers to gauge predictions about homes built in 2015. The most interesting thing to come out of the survey was that most of the predictions are ringing true – especially with regard to home sizes and trends. Here are a few insights:
We Want Smaller Homes
When compared to 2010, new single-family homes being built in 2015 are about 10 percent smaller, which makes sense: in a nutshell, we haven’t forgotten about the economic hardships of recent years. Homeowners’ expectations for home price appreciation have diminished somewhat, and many want to spend less on heating and cooling. Also, many baby-boomers are transitioning into retirement and considering their age when making home size decisions – and many don’t want or need large homes.
We Like Great Rooms
While homes are getting smaller, the open spaces within them are getting larger. What was once the formal living room is being merged with other rooms to create a single “great room” – combining the living room, kitchen, and family room in one big area. The kitchen is no longer a separate walled-off space, but is now the centerpiece and main hub of the home.
We’re Getting Older
In five years, 29 percent of the U.S. population will be 55+. That’s a big group, and they have the disposable income to build new homes. In addition to wanting less square footage, they’d like to stay in their homes as long as possible, so many are incorporating features that are universal or flexible for aging homeowners. (Zero-step shower entries and wider doorways to accommodate walkers and other assistive equipment are two examples.) We’re also seeing more two-story home floor plans that incorporate a master bedroom on the first floor for accessibility.
Some other trends for 2015 are green features and combining styles. Homeowners are more purposefully incorporating green features like Energy-Star rated appliances, low-flow toilets and energy efficient windows. They are also doing something we haven’t seen in the past – combining traditional and modern styles. For instance, homeowners are mixing traditional wood and marble with prominent stainless steel and other “modern” design features. This gives the space a hint of modern design, but keeps it warm and inviting.
We think that homeowners are more informed that ever – and making smart decisions! From all of us at Heatilator, enjoy your home.