The Home of the Future: Looking at New Homes in 2015|
Over the past five decades, new homes have changed dramatically. Small one-story bungalows measuring less than 1,000 square feet with two bedrooms and a single bathroom have given way to two-story homes topping 2,400 square feet and boasting at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Along the way, new homes have evolved to levels of comfort and sophistication that were virtually unimaginable even a generation ago.
In the future, kitchens will be one of the most important factors affecting consumer buying choices and will continue to feature upgraded materials and appliances.
Given the rapid evolution of design, configuration and products in new homes, even a professional futurist might be hard-pressed to determine what the next five decades hold for housing. But a new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) provides a telling look at what homes buyers can expect to purchase in the nearer future — 2015.
“The Home of the Future” study, introduced at the International Builders’ Show® in Orlando, was conducted in 2006 by NAHB’s Economics Group. Based on polls of architects, designers, marketers and manufacturers, it provides a detailed view of what buyers can expect to find in both “average” and “upscale” homes eight years in the future.
Trends in All Houses
According to the experts, the pace of change in new homes will be much faster over the next 10 years than in recent years, and buyers can expect that all homes will be significantly “greener” and more resource-efficient than they are today. Universal design/handicap access will be emphasized as the Baby Boomer generation retires.
Perhaps most surprising, the consensus was that although average home size has increased significantly in the past decade, it is not likely to increase over the next 10 years. In fact, average home size in 2015 is likely to stay in the range of today’s 2,400 square feet, and homes are increasingly likely to be two-story rather than one-story.
Like today, kitchens and bathrooms will continue to be among the most important factors affecting consumer buying choices and will continue to feature upgraded materials and appliances. The focus on garages will increase, with more consumers preferring three-car garages. Moreover, as SUVs continue to grow in popularity, garage door openings will be larger to accommodate king-sized vehicles.
Another growing trend is recessed lighting, which buyers can expect to find in homes in all price ranges, along with wood floors.
Communities are likely to reflect homeowner preferences for open space, recreational opportunities, amenities such as walking and jogging trails and proximity to public transportation.
Average Home in 2015
According to the study, the typical new single-family home in 2015 will feature:
- 2,330 square feet over two stories
- Four bedrooms and 2.5 to 3.5 bathrooms
- A one-story entry foyer
- A one-story family room (no loft or volume ceilings)
- No formal living room, as this room vanishes entirely or is transformed into a parlor/retreat/library
- 9-foot ceilings on first floor; 8- to 9-foot ceilings on second floor
- Exterior walls of vinyl or fiber-cement siding or brick
- A staircase located in foyer
- A front porch
- A patio
- Technology like a fiber-optic network, programmable thermostat, structured wiring system, multiline phone system
- Both a shower stall and a tub in the master bathroom
- A separate enclosure for the toilet in the master bath
Upscale Home in 2015
In the same study, a typical upscale single-family home eight years in the future was predicted to feature:
- More than 4,000 square feet
- Two stories with four or more bedrooms and 3.5 to 4.5 bathrooms
- Two master bedroom suites
- A two-story entry foyer
- A one- or two-story family room
- A formal living room is likely, but it may be replaced by a parlor/retreat/library
- 9-foot ceilings on first floor; 9- to 10-foot ceilings on upper floors
- An exterior of stone, brick, stucco or fiber-cement siding
- Stairs in the back or on the side of the house
- A front porch, rear porch, patio and deck
- An outdoor kitchen with a grill, sinks, refrigerator and cooking island
- An outdoor fireplace featuring a pool/spa, audio/TV equipment and lighting
- Technology like programmable thermostats, structured wiring, a multi-line phone system, multi-zone HVAC, remote-control fireplaces, instant hot water in bathrooms and kitchens, a lighting control system and a monitored burglar/fire/toxic gas alarm system.
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