Denser communities near urban centers tops neighborhood design trends

WASHINGTON – Dec. 12, 2018 - Results from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) third quarter Home Design Trends Survey show a preference among households for communities closer to urban centers—known as infill—topping the list of neighborhood design trends.

The latest survey results—focusing on community and neighborhood design—also found that project billings and inquiries for the quarter remain strong at residential firms.

“These trends can be attributed to the fact that people want to live in more convenient locations,” notes AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD. Hon. AIA. “This is consistent with the broader design developments of greater integration of land-uses and smaller lots for homes in most major metro areas.”

Other findings of the report show:

  • Contemporary home styles remain a popular trend in home exteriors.
  • Higher-density development is the second most popular neighborhood design trend.
  • Durable/low maintenance exteriors remain a popular choice for home exteriors.

The remodeling side of the custom home market continues to drive positive business conditions. Aggregate third quarter findings, include:

  • Business conditions remain healthy at residential architecture firms in all regions as Northeast and Midwest regions increased in growth.
  • Project backlogs at residential architecture firms remained at healthy levels of just under five months on average.
  • While home improvement sectors continue to outpace new construction, custom/luxury homes are having strong growth within the new construction sector.

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. More information on third-quarter survey results can be reviewed on  AIA’s website.


Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. 

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


Matt Tinder
(202) 626 7462 
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