A recent study by the US National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that, while consumer hesitation on home buying is waning, the recent housing downturn has changed what people are looking for in their next home.
The survey research on consumer preferences suggests that the severity of the recession has left an indelible mark on prospective home buyers, shifting their perspective on the type of housing they want and need.
Builders surveyed expect homes to average 2,152 square feet in 2015, down 10% from the average size of a single family home in 2010. To save on square footage, the formal living room is high on the endangered list, says NAHB, with 52% of builders expecting it to be merged with other spaces in the home. Thirty percent of builders said it will vanish entirely. In addition, the relative size of the entry foyer and dining room will likely decrease. The only floor space predicted to increase is the great room.
68% of builders surveyed also say that homes in 2015 will include more green features and technology including low-E windows, engineered wood beams, joists or tresses, water-efficient features such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets and an Energy Star rating for the whole house. (source: REM, May 2011)