Remodels Trump New Construction in Today's Housing Market

http://www.motherearthliving.com/The-Good-Life/remodels-trump-new-construction-in-todays-housing-market.aspx

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailMore homeowners are remodeling and adding on to their existing homes than building new residences, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the fourth quarter of 2010. The trend toward more modest kitchen and bathroom design because of economic pressures appears to be reversing, with homeowners seeking larger, and in some cases additional, kitchens and bathrooms. Resource-efficient products such as water-saving toilets and LED lighting are also in demand.

“We are not seeing the same level of demand for larger and additional kitchens and bathrooms as we saw during the peak of the housing market, but there has been a shift away from downsizing those rooms that has taken place the over last two years,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “Key considerations are the amount of pantry space, dedicated recycling centers and the integration with family space allowing for easier child care and home entertaining. … Accessibility within the home and demand for universal design principles continues to be a priority and should remain so for the foreseeable future given the aging U.S. population.”

The AIA survey found that homeowners are more interested in kitchen and bath remodeling as well as additions and alterations, but that the first-time buyer, luxury home and vacation home markets continue to struggle.

kitchen 

 Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen remodels but not on new construction. Photo by Michael Shopenn