As the housing market improves, interest in smaller homes and lot sizes appears to be leveling off, according to the quarterly American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey. “Overall home and lots sizes showing signs of increasing slightly indicates that the housing market is stabilizing after being in a downward spiral since 2007,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “But consistent with the last several years, there remains a preference for open space layout allowing for more flexibility and less interest in formal spaces and rooms.”
Fifty-two percent of respondents reported decreases in home square footage in 2011, compared with 57 percent in 2010. “The home improvement market, including both additions and structural alterations as well as remodeling projects, is extremely healthy right now, and with the exception of the affordable home market, all of the other sectors are more positive than the same time a year ago,” Baker says.
More homeowners are seeking to improve their outdoor spaces, according to the survey, and homeowners are more willing than in years past to invest in home improvements.
Baker doesn’t expect this to herald the return of the McMansion, which doesn’t appeal to younger home buyers. “But I think we’ll start to see house sizes start to edge up a bit,” he predicts.
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