Smaller is Better for New Homes, says NAHB Study

Home preferences are changing, says a recent National Association of Home Builders study. Consumer hesitation may be slowing, but the housing downturn is leaving a lasting mark on what buyers want and need.

The NAHB survey indicates that smaller will be better in the years ahead, with homes averaging an anticipated 2,152 square feet in 2015; 10% smaller than the average single-family homes started in the first three quarters of 2010.

In terms of home layouts, 52% of builders expect the living room to be merged with other spaces by 2015, and 30% of builders expect it to go away completely. Doing away with the living room will help to save on square footage. The dining room and foyer are also likely to get relatively smaller, with the fates of the kitchen, master bedroom and bath, and mudroom still left undecided.

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“As an overall share of total floor space, 54% of builders said the family room is likely to increase,” said Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research. “That makes it the only area of the home likely to get bigger.”

With many spaces getting smaller or going away entirely, the average home of the future will have a great room comprising the kitchen, foyer and living room. Other preferences according to the survey will include green features and technology, water efficiency and an Energy Star rating.

See the full survey results.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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