AIA Home Design Trend Survey: Best business conditions since 2007 for residential market

Washington, D.C. – June 29, 2011 – The collapse of the housing market resulted in greater interest in smaller homes and lot sizes, but that appears to be leveling off. There continues to be interest from homeowners in investing in their properties, particularly with regards to outdoor living space. Accessibility within the home remains a concern, especially for an aging population, along with ongoing demand for more flexible and open design within homes. Business conditions for residential architects are showing improving conditions with the highest billings score since mid-2007. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Home Design Trends Surveythat focused specifically on overall home layout and use in the first quarter of 2011.
“Overall home and lots sizes showing signs of increasing slightly indicates that the housing market is stabilizing after being in a downward spiral since 2007,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But consistent with the last several years, there remains a preference for open space layout allowing for more flexibility and less interest in formal spaces and rooms.”

Overall home layout and size trends

Residential elements (% of respondents that reported decreases) 2011       2010
Square footage                 52%        57%
Lot size                                 22%        32%
Volume                                                18%        21%
Residential elements (% of respondents that reported increases)                2011       2010
In-home accessibility                                                      58%        60%
Open space layout                                                                          49%        56%
Access into / out of home                                                            48%        49%
Informal space                                                                  40%        48%
Single-floor plan                                                                               35%        40%
Lot size                                 22%        32%

Outdoor living and landscaping trends

Residential elements (% of respondents that reported increases)                2011                       2010
Low irrigation landscaping 63% 63%
Outdoor living space 60% 56%
Rainwater catchment 49% 55%
Blended indoor / outdoor living 46% 48%
Exterior / security lighting 30% 33%

Housing market business conditions

AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q1 2011 (any score above 50 is positive)

      • Billings: 51
      • Inquiries for new projects: 60

Baker continued, “The home improvement market, including both additions and structural alterations as well as remodeling projects, is extremely healthy right now and with the exception of the affordable home market, all of the other sectors are more positive than the same time a year ago.”

Specific residential segments(index score computed as % of respondents reporting improving minus % reporting weakening conditions)

      • Kitchen and bath remodeling: 52
      • Additions / alterations: 51
      • First-time buyer / affordable home market: -22
      • Move-up home market: -16
      • Custom / luxury home market: -19
      • Townhouse / condo market: -34
      • Second / vacation home market: -51
Posted in AIA, Design

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