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      Decrease in Home Sizes and Lots Nearing Bottom

      Best business conditions since 2007 for residential market

      Contact: Scott Frank
      202-626-7467
      sfrank@aia.org

      http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. – June 29, 2011 –
      The collapse of the housing market resulted in greater interest in smaller homes and lot sizes, but that appears to be leveling off. There continues to be interest from homeowners in investing in their properties, particularly with regards to outdoor living space. Accessibility within the home remains a concern, especially for an aging population, along with ongoing demand for more flexible and open design within homes. Business conditions for residential architects are showing improving conditions with the highest billings score since mid-2007. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey that focused specifically on overall home layout and use in the first quarter of 2011.


      “Overall home and lots sizes showing signs of increasing slightly indicates that the housing market is stabilizing after being in a downward spiral since 2007,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But consistent with the last several years, there remains a preference for open space layout allowing for more flexibility and less interest in formal spaces and rooms.”

      Overall home layout and size trends

    Residential elements (% of respondents that reported decreases)

    2011      

    2010

    Square footage                

    52%       

    57%

    Lot size                                

    22%       

    32%

    Volume                                               

    18%       

    21%

    Residential elements (% of respondents that reported increases)               

    2011      

    2010

    In-home accessibility                                                     

    58%       

    60%

    Open space layout                                                                         

    49%       

    56%

    Access into / out of home                                                           

    48%       

    49%

    Informal space                                                                 

    40%       

    48%

    Single-floor plan                                                                              

    35%       

    40%

    Lot size                                

    22%       

    32%

      Outdoor living and landscaping trends

    Residential elements (% of respondents that reported increases)               

    2011                      

    2010

    Low irrigation landscaping

    63%

    63%

    Outdoor living space

    60%

    56%

    Rainwater catchment

    49%

    55%

    Blended indoor / outdoor living

    46%

    48%

    Exterior / security lighting

    30%

    33%

      Housing market business conditions

      AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q1 2011 (any score above 50 is positive)

      • Billings: 51
      • Inquiries for new projects: 60

      Baker continued, “The home improvement market, including both additions and structural alterations as well as remodeling projects, is extremely healthy right now and with the exception of the affordable home market, all of the other sectors are more positive than the same time a year ago.”

      Specific residential segments
      (index score computed as % of respondents reporting improving minus % reporting weakening conditions)

      • Kitchen and bath remodeling: 52
      • Additions / alterations: 51
      • First-time buyer / affordable home market: -22
      • Move-up home market: -16
      • Custom / luxury home market: -19
      • Townhouse / condo market: -34
      • Second / vacation home market: -51

      About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey
      The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of 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 2011) and community design trends (December 2011).

      About The American Institute of Architects
      For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

 

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