Larger homes and lots inch upward in demand

Residential architects report strong business conditions

Washington, D.C. – June 21, 2016 – Renewed homeowner interest in larger homes, including volume and lot size, was one of the more significant trends in home design  over the last 12 months.  Though demand is slowing, homeowner interest in accessibility and open space layouts remains at the top of their priorities.  Bothoutdoor living space and blended indoor / outdoor living space continue to dominate homeowner investment on exterior house space.  These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2016, which focuses specifically on overall home layout and the use of interior and exterior space.

All of the data can be accessed through this infographic.

“Minor lags in demand for accessibility features within the home are a signal universal design concepts have become a more common feature in the existing housing stock,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.

% of firms reporting “increasing” activity for that characteristic; Q1 2016

Baker added, “Not surprisingly homeowners interest in utilizing more of their property as a livable space while giving them a sense of connection to the outdoors remains very popular.”

Outdoor living and landscaping trends

% of firms reporting “increasing” activity for that characteristic; Q1 2016

Housing market business conditions

AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q1 2016 (any score above 50 is positive)

  • Billings: 61
  • Inquiries for new projects: 67

“Though billings at residential firms saw somewhat slower growth than in the 1st quarter of 2015, they remain solid and stable,” said Baker.  “Remodeling additions continue to top the list of specific residential segments architecture firms are providing clients, but a notable jump in interest in second/vacation homes is an additional signal of a strengthening housing market.”

% of respondents reporting sector “improving” minus % reporting “weakening”; Q1 2016

About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey
The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.  Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace.  Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis.  Future surveys will focus on specialty rooms and systems (September 2016), community design trends (December 2016) and kitchen and bath trends (February2017).

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The 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. Visit

Matt Tinder
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