Housing Market Rebound Leading to Renewed Popularity of Special Function Rooms and Technologies

Residential construction segments improving across the board

Washington, D.C. – September 16, 2013 – Specialty rooms, new systems, and technologies are all returning as a high priority among homeowners as the housing market continues to improve throughout the country.  There is a particular emphasis on products offering energy-efficiency and fewer maintenance obligations. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)  Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2013 that focused on emerging home features: systems, technologies and function rooms in the home.

“High demand for systems and technologies in the home that helps to lower utility bills and promote sustainability continue to rule the day in residential design,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But as economic conditions have improved, there has also been a resurgence in the preference for dedicated ‘special function’ rooms within the home.”

AIA Home Design Trends Survey highlights

2013               

2012

Outdoor living rooms

29%                

35%

Home offices              

22%                

22%

Mud rooms                 

22%                

22%

Au pair / in-law suites             

8%                  

5%

All other rooms 

5%

5%

Media / home theater

4%

7%

Exercise / fitness rooms          

4%                  

1%

Safe rooms

3%

2%

Hobby rooms

3%

1%

TOTAL

100%

100%

(most popular special function rooms, % of respondents)

Products                                                                                 

2013                           

2012   

Low maintenance                                                       

59%                

65%

Energy-efficient                                                          

58%                

69%

Tank-less water heaters                                               

51%                

58%

Water saving                                                               

48%                

51%

Synthetic materials                                                      

47%                

55%

Recycled materials                                          

39%                

42%









(% respond. report. popularity of products “increasing” minus % report. “decreasing”; Q2)

Systems / technologies

 

2013                           

2012   

Wireless                                              

63%                

48%

Energy management                                                   

53%                

48%

Backup power generation                                           

48%                

44%

Solar panels                                                                

41%                

38%

Automated lights

31%

14%

Geothermal heating / cooling                                      

30%                

30%

Security sytsems                                                         

37%                

22%

Electrical docking station

29%

22%


(% reporting popularity of system “increasing” minus % reporting “decreasing”; Q2)

Special home features

2013                           

2012   

Extra insulation                         

61%                  

66%

First floor master bedroom                 

51%                  

46%

Ramps / elevators                                           

42%                  

38%

Easy-to-use features                                       

37%                  

27%

Hurricane resistant design                               

37%                  

25%    

(% reporting popularity of system “increasing” minus % reporting “decreasing”;       Q2)

Housing market business conditions

AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q2 2013 (any score above 50 is positive)

  • Billings: 66
  • Inquiries for new projects: 68

Baker noted, “The market for remodeling and renovations has  been pacing the upturn recently, helping to produce  the best business conditions for residential architecture firms since before the Great Recession. Positive conditions should continue, since backlogs of future projects are increasing at a healthy rate.”

Specific construction segments

2013                           

2012   

Additions / alterations                         

64%                  

44%

Kitchen / bath remodeling                               

61%                  

44%

First-time buyer / affordable home market:    

15%                  

-11%

Move-up homes:                     

35%                  

-4%     

Custom / luxury home market:                       

25%                  

-6%

Townhouse / condo market:                                       

13%                   

-28%

Second home:                                                            

-8%                   

-48%


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