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How the Home Is Changing

In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about how home design and technology preferences are changing, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—and that talk continued at NAHB (National Assn. of Home Builders) IBS (Intl. Builders Show) and KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) earlier this month.

Since the early days of the pandemic, we at Constructech have espoused the way we live, work, and play in our homes has changed, which unequivocally is changing the way homes need to be designed and built. Perhaps this comes as a surprise to none, but we are trending toward bigger homes with more outdoor amenities.

At the show, NAHB highlighted top features and design trends across the generations, giving a glimpse into what buyers want in homes in 2022. Chief is the fact there was a rise in the average size of a new home to 2,524-sq.ft. and the percentage of new homes with 4+ bedrooms and 3+ full bathrooms rose to 46% and 34%, respectively.

Naturally, the interests do vary across generations and are primarily driven by the millennials (36%) and Gen Xers (34%), who noted their housing preferences have in fact changed as a result of the pandemic. In addition to a desire for more space and bedrooms, these generations are also looking for homes with modern or contemporary exteriors that are designed for multiple generations. Naturally interest in exercise rooms and home offices are also on the rise here.

Interestingly, only 18% of baby boomers indicated a change in their preferences. This generation is interested in smaller homes on smaller lots, with an eye toward energy efficiency, as they have likely owned a home before and understand the costs of heating and cooling in a home.

The top five features that resonate with all generations are: laundry rooms, exterior lighting, ceiling fans, patios, and walk-in pantries. The percentage of single-family homes with patios has risen to 63%, as more emphasis has been placed in outdoor living in recent years. Millennials have also indicated a specific interest in front porches as well.

As builders consider what to put in new homes in the months ahead, perhaps it is worth considering which generation is the target market and building to meet their needs.

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