Improving Residential Market Leads to Larger Homes and an Increase in Property Enhancements

June 17th, 2013 | Category: Industry News

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released a study showing that as the residential market continues to improve, home size has grown in response. According to a release from the AIA, this trend is being seen in both high-end and custom homes, as well as in additions to existing homes.

These findings are from the AIA Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2013, which focuses specifically on overall home layout and the use of interior and exterior space.

“We’ve seen over the past few years, an increased interest in seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces and building in more informal spaces into homes,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker.  “Because lot sizes don’t show any signs of increasing, it’s clear that homeowners want to maximize their current square footage to its highest potential, as opposed to increasing it.”

Overall Home Layout and Size Trends

Residential   elements (% of respondents that reported increases) 2013         2012
Volume 24% 20%
Square footage 12% 8%
Lot size 3% 5%
In-home accessibility 64% 64%
Open space layout 56% 55%
Informal space 60% 51%
Access in/out of home 55% 47%
Single-floor plan 46% 45%

Outdoor living and landscaping trends

Residential   elements (% of respondents that reported   increases)                  2013                         2012                        
Low irrigation landscaping 61% 65%
Outdoor living space 63% 64%
Blended indoor / outdoor living 55% 53%
Rainwater catchment 52% 48%
Exterior / security lighting 35% 33%

Housing Market Business Conditions
AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q1 2013 (any score above 50 is positive)

  • Billings: 67
  • Inquiries for new projects: 74

Baker adds, “With business conditions at residential architecture firms at the strongest growth level since 2005, this is a very encouraging sign for the housing sector and broader economy in general, especially when you look at the year-over-year improvement in the marketplace.”

Specific   residential segments*          2013      2012
Kitchen and bath remodeling 63 53
Remodeling additions/alterations 63 51
Custom/luxury home market 16 -2
Move-up homes 32 -3
First-time buyer/affordable   home market 21 -7
Townhouse/condo market 7 -17
Second/vacation home market -15 -36

* Index score computed as % of respondents reporting improving minus % reporting weakening conditions

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