Bigger, more accessible homes in demand thus far in 2015

By Kelly Leighton | July 22, 2015 | 2 min. read

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently released the results for their Home Design Trends Survey, which represented the first quarter of 2015. The survey focused on overall home layout, as well as interior and exterior space.

For outdoor improvements, the outdoor living space, as well as the blended indoor/outdoor space, are at the top of consumers’ minds. In 2015, 72 percent of firms surveyed reported increasing activity for the outdoor living space, up from 69 percent last year, and blended indoor/outdoor living space came in with 58 percent, an increase of 2 percent from 2014.

Increased square footage demands have also been on the rise, up 5 percent from 15 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2015. This has been a trend over the past five years, with demand increasing each year. Interestingly enough, the volume, or ceiling height increase demand dropped slightly from 28 to 26 percent, but remained stable.

Increasing home sizes are driven mainly by upper-end homes, according to the study. Overall, the percentage who reported sizes increasing was 20 percent, with 36 percent of those responders attributing the rise to upper-end, and 26 percent covering additions and remodels.

Additionally, accessibility is the main concern in a home’s design and layout, according to the survey. Of the respondents, 70 percent reported an increase in activity, up from 65 percent last year. Another aspect important to consumers is an open space layout, with 61 percent seeking it. Access in and out of a home rounded up the top three, with 59 percent of firms reporting an increase, up from 55 percent last year.

Overall, nearly all major housing sectors are seeing gains, but new construction is struggling. Remodeling has been the most in demand, with alternation and addition demands up to 61.1 percent, up from 59.3 percent, and kitchen and bath modeling at 57.4 percent, up .5 percent.

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