Demand for larger homes and lots peaking

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Demand for larger homes and lots peaking

After several years of increasing demand for larger homes and lots, homeowners’ interest in extra square footage is waning. Additionally, homeowners continue to express a high level of interest in features that will allow them to stay in their home even with limited mobility. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2017, which focuses specifically on home and property design and the use of interior and exterior space. All of the data can be accessed through the included infographic.

“With younger households that are increasingly entering the market looking for more affordable options, home sizes appear to have peaked for this economic cycle,” says  Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist,PhD, Hon. AIA. “For aging owners, accessibility continues to be a high priority.”

While fewer architects reported an interest in in-home accessibility in 2017 over 2016, 6 percent more architects reported a strong interest in a single-floor plan (53% in 217 versus 47% in 2016). Emphasis on square footage dropped from 2016 to 2017 – from 21% to 19%.

Baker adds, “As building lots continue to be smaller and scarcer, lot preparation with the goal of maximizing livable outdoor space tops the list of property enhancement desires.”

Outdoor living and landscaping trends

Interest in difficult lot preparation and increased building density increased, as did blending indoor and outdoor liivng space.

“Billings and inquiries at residential firms are nearing a two-year high in terms of the pace of growth,” says Baker. “Those factors, along with a sizable jump in demand with first-time home buyers is a signal the custom residential housing market will be stable for the foreseeable future.”

About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey

The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace. Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis. Future surveys will focus on specialty rooms and systems (September 2017), community design trends (December 2017) and kitchen and bath trends (February2018).

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

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