After the housing market bubble burst several years ago, consumer preferences for neighborhoods and communities changed. A recent study, the AIA Home Design Trends Survey, has confirmed that these post-bubble trends are continuing.
What are these post-bubble trends? Instead of sprawling large-scale developments, there is more of an emphasis on smaller infill projects in areas that already have access to transportation infrastructure. Projects are smaller and affordability is important. Durability is a desirable feature of new residential projects, as people want a low-maintenance home. Sustainability is also a sought-after feature, especially in regard to roofs. Porches have become a very popular component of homes, as people want to foster more of a connection to their surrounding community. Home styles are somewhat simplistic, with fewer upscale bells and whistles on the façade.
On the grim side, business is still down for residential architecture firms. Billings were down again in the third quarter of this year, continuing the disparaging trend that began in 2007. Architects in all regions of the country have been affected by the downturn.