Demand for larger homes and lots softening since 2016

Photo: Daniel Barnes

WASHINGTON – The overall size of new homes peaked in 2016 for this cycle and for the last three years has continued to moderate, according to new survey results from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2019—focusing on home and property design—also found that homeowners continue to place a priority on accessibility features. Other findings show modest growth in project backlogs among architecture firms along with a strong spike in billings at firms in the Northeast and Midwest.

“With home sizes plateauing and lot sizes continuing to decline, it isn’t shocking to see where that additional focus is going,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Homeowners want more flexibility in their space, both inside and outside the house, and they want to use these spaces as they age.”

Other findings of the report indicate:

  • Rental units/accessory dwellings continued to remain a popular option in homes, with 61% of respondents indicating that they were increasing in popularity.
  • Properties that pose design and lot preparation challenges continued to be an ongoing challenge for residential architects, while green fencing options were seen as increasing in popularity by 22% of respondents, while only 5% reported them to be declining in popularity.

Residential architecture firm business conditions:

  • Billings: 55.8
  • Inquiries for new projects: 57.1
  • Regional averages: Midwest (59.5), Northeast (59.5), South (56.1), West (50.2)

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.