One of the ways that home designers and builders keep in touch with the latest building trends is to evaluate the results of the Annual Home Design Contest. The results from this year are out, and it is showing some very unusual trends.
Newly built homes are being designed smaller and more economical. The average design this year was almost 200 square feet smaller than homes built in 2007. The trend seems to point to reduced space, less elaborate interiors, and very simply designed exteriors.
The homes that are trending this year no longer have gables and archways on their exterior design. The opinion is that these features, while aesthetically pleasing, only add to the cost of building the structure, not the actual value of the home.
Kitchens have become more streamlined. The large gourmet kitchens that were all the rage only ten years ago have become much simpler. The kitchen areas have been blended into the living areas in the new designs, and even contain a desk area for those who need to work while they cook.
Bathrooms have also simplified in the newer designs on your average home. The days of extra-large bathrooms with every imaginable fixture are gone. That is, unless you are looking for a mansion. Mansions are trending quite differently when it comes to bathrooms this year. The latest trend for mansion homes is to have two bathrooms for every bedroom, and each bathroom is approximately the size of the bedroom.
Home trends for average homes are expected to continue on this downsizing trend. It is anticipated that by 2015, the average newly built home will only be about 2140 square feet in size. The outside appearance will seem almost boxy, and amenities will be very sparse.
This new trend with new homebuyers is quite different than what was occurring in the 1980’s when their parents were buying homes. Back in the 1980’s the trend was very simple: “The bigger, the better.” Now, the more basic you can build a home, the more appealing it is to the new homebuyers.
The National Association of Realtors believes that this trend is driven by cost more than any other reason. Materials and labor costs can be greatly reduced when you simplify construction. This reduction in costs allows more people to qualify to build a home, and in some cases, is the only way that the buyer can qualify.
In addition to financing, many new homebuilders are also looking for homes that are cost efficient to maintain and are environmentally friendlier. Smaller homes cost less to heat and cool, which results in lower power consumption. Smaller homes are also easier to insulate. Many buyers also opt for a smaller home so that they can spend the money they saved on other cost-saving features such as double-paned windows.
With mortgage interest rates remaining low and new housing start figures showing an increase in the first two months of this year, builders are anticipating a good year for new construction. These smaller homes will allow builders to enter back into the market again without the excessive burden of high material costs.