While the single-family home market maintains its slow and steady recovery, the demand for community and neighborhood design services remains strong.
A recent press release outlining the results of the American Institute of Architect’s Home Designs third quarter 2014 Survey indicts that architects specializing in neighborhood and community design are experiencing strong demand for their services. This concentration of growth reflects the focus on development in existing communities as people seek easy access to employment opportunities, activities in the larger community, and public transportation. While demand for new single-family homes remains slow, but steady, growth, the growth for new multifamily, mixed use developments, is exceptionally strong as well as the demand for rental properties.
Specific Design Trends in 3Q 2014
The residential design elements that are in the greatest demand by the public include low maintenance exterior finishes, open flexible spaces within homes, and energy efficiency features, such as solar reflective roofs. The leading neighborhood and community design trends are urban infill development, easy and convenient access to public transportation, mixed use development, and multigenerational housing In terms of specific construction sectors, the demand for alternations and additions to existing homes, as well as kitchen and bathroom renovations, is twice that of other sectors.
With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loosening the mortgage qualifications for first time homebuyers, and continued economic growth that produces well-paying jobs, the demand for single family homes is likely to increase as the Millennial generation enters the market.