Current trends indicate that, in 2015, new homes will be smaller, greener and more casual.
At the end of 2014, NAHB Research Centre conducted a survey online in two phases.
The first phase used screening questions to identify recent home buyers, who purchased a home in the last three years, and prospective home buyers – those expecting to buy a home in the next three years.
The second phase consisted of a questionnaire sent to the recent and potential customers identified in step one.
The results reported here are based on 3,682 responses to the detailed questionnaire.
This “most wanted” list shows buyers are most interested in two themes: energy efficiency and single storey homes.
Just over half of all homebuyers surveyed would like to buy a brand new home; 28 percent from a builder and 27 percent custom built on their own land. An existing home is the first preference of the other 45 percent.
Buyers want a home with a median 2,026 square feet, about 10 percent less than what they have now 2,206 square feet.
For 25 percent of buyers, the size of the lot is not important when choosing a home.
Nearly half (47 percent) want three bedrooms while 32 percent want four. The majority (65 percent) prefer either 2 or 21⁄2 bathrooms.
Most home buyers, 57 percent) prefer a single-story home; 31 percent prefer two stories. Sixty-six percent of consumers want to have a full or partial basement.
Nearly half, 48 percent of buyers who want a 2-story home, want the master bedroom on the second floor, while a majority,70 percent, prefer the washer and dryer on the first floor.
Most buyers want a 2-car garage (53 percent). About 1 in 5 wants a 3+car garage.
For 65 percent of buyers, the most influential characteristic when buying a home is “living space and number of rooms that meet their needs.”
Buyers focus on quality and appearance when looking at most home components: flooring, doors, kitchen countertops and cabinets, carpeting, etc.
Open floor plans satisfy a desire for gathering and connecting, and most new plans are based on the same principle: Central common living areas that are open to each other; split bedrooms, master suite on one side of the house, secondary bedrooms on the other.
Other relevant findings include:
- The average, new single-family home will be smaller and have more green features
- The living room will either vanish or merge with other spaces in the home
- The “Great Room” is the likeliest room to be included in the average new home
- Low-e windows and engineered wood products are the most acceptable green features
- A double sink, recessed lighting, and table space for eating are very likely in kitchens
Here are seven home design trends we’ll see in 2015 and beyond:
Single-family homes will get smaller.
According to the same survey, in 2015 43% of new homes built will be between 2,000 and 2,399 square feet. 22% will still be sizable at 2,400 to 2,999 square feet, but only 1% will be between 3,000 or more square feet, a desirable size in past markets. 33% of new homes will be between 1,600 – 1,999 square feet, which was considered too small in years past.
In the past, bigger was better as far as most homeowners were concerned. Designed to encourage casual gatherings, open floor plans will be the key to the perfect family home.
With smaller homes being built, you can expect dining rooms to disappear to make room for larger, more updated eat-in kitchens. Additionally, it will not be unusual to see main floors that integrate everything into one large room, from the foyer to kitchen, great room and dining room.
Living Rooms are Gone Away.
An interesting trend we’ll see in homes built in 2015 and beyond is the absence of living rooms. So instead of a little-used separate living room, floor plans will look to utilize that square footage in other ways.
More Green Features.
As consumers grow more conscious of their environmental footprint, builders and contractors are tailoring home features to suit them. More new homes will see Low-E windows, tankless water heaters, low flush toilets and low spray showerheads, cooling ceiling fans, and even rooftop solar panels for water heaters and electric systems.
From a design standpoint, contractors, architects, and interior decorators will incorporate more natural elements into their projects in 2015, like using environmentally-friendly engineered hardwood for floors, cool vertical gardens, and water features indoors.
Many homeowners will also take steps necessary to make their home smarter. This will include Wi-Fi enabled appliances that pass on maintenance information to the homeowner and the manufacturer, as well as Energy Star rated appliances.
Bringing the Outdoors In
Outdoor living. One of the most refreshing trends in home’s in the past couple years will keep going strong in 2015: the affinity for outdoor living spaces. We’re not talking about closed in porches (which are out) or pools (out) but outdoor fireplaces, covered seating areas that rival any living room, and elaborate brick ovens and fully-functioning kitchens will be a huge draw for home buyers in 2015.
The outdoors will be invited indoors, as sliding doors, glass walls, and additional transparent elements are incorporated into home designs. You can also anticipate seeing patio and garden rooms that give families the perfect place to relax on rainy, cold, or hot days.
Functional, Yet Beautiful Kitchen
While functionality is the key, homeowners also want gorgeous and personalized kitchens. Wall ovens, open shelving, individual compartments for wine, microwaves, and refrigerators, pullout faucets, and elegant finishes will be commonplace.
When it comes to the kitchen, some design trends will continue while some will take a sharp detour. Built-in eating spaces like breakfast nooks will continue to be popular as will breakfast bars, centre islands, large walk-in pantries, pull out drawers and dedicated recycling centres.
Flexible and Accessible Homes
In today’s world, it is important to be able to welcome everyone into your home. As a result, widened hallways and doors, zero step showers and entryways, and nonslip flooring will be frequently incorporated into home designs.
You may also see movable partitions, pocket and sliding doors, and even automated technology, including mechanized drawers, in homes in an attempt to make the home comfortable for everyone.
Master Bedroom and En-Suite
Master bedrooms will get special attention. The sleeping area for the king and queen of the house will get a boost in 2015 and beyond. Builders will continue to put the master bedroom on the first floor of two story homes whenever possible. They’ll also enhance elaborate walk-in closets (realizing they are huge selling points) and integrate technology into the bedroom.
And if the master bedroom looks so good, the master bathroom has to keep up. Master bath showers will become even bigger and have more luxury features. Interestingly, there will be far less built-in tubs with a showerhead but more detached soaking tubs that look like something out of a spa.