Homebuilding Trends – 8 Trends the CEOs See for Living Spaces

Posted on Jul 3, 2012

Homebuilding Trends – 8 Trends the CEOs See for Living Spaces

Walking and TalkingHomebuilding trends, as seen from the top of the industry, was a keynote topic at last week’s Pacific Coast Builders Conference. Speaking on the panel were Peter Orser, President of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company, Steven J. Hilton, Chairman & CEO of Meritage Homes, and Sheryl Palmer, President and CEO of Taylor Morrison.

Whether you are a production homebuilder, a remodeler, or custom home builder, there are many things to be learned from the CEO’s insight into homebuilding trends.

1. Buyers Will Still Look for Comfort and Safety. Buyers still want the magnificent kitchen and more comfort in their living spaces. Convenience is big today.

2. Location Will Drive Design. Infill and urban locations drive different design than suburban locations, of course, as lifestyle and living spaces differ.

3. New Homes Will Grow Smarter. Taylor Morrison’s The Interactive Home is an example of the new, smarter home, one you can control via mobile phone. People expect and want smart home technology, one of the new, intriguing homebuilding trends.

4. New Homes Will Get Greener. While the CEO’s observe green will take a long time to mainstream, and that people won’t pay for green, location is the variable, both for demand and regulation. Energy efficiency still leads, and indoor air quality is now a big selling point. We will see more requirements over time for green building among homebuilding’s trends.

5. New Homes Won’t Get Much Bigger. National headlines make both claims, homes are getting smaller, and McMansions continue. The CEO’s see home size as driven by location and by a mix issue. The national average is not a trend indicator. Look to the local market for what’s trending in living spaces. “Every market is local, it’s all about location, “ noted Orser.

6. Personalization of New Homes Will Deepen. Getting the plan right from the start, providing buyers’ dream homes through flexible living spaces and providing customization, such as Quadrant Homes’ Built Your Way, show homebuilding trends towards tailoring the home to the buyer.

7. Energy Efficiency Will Separate New from Existing Homes. The primary competition today is the “used” housing market. “HERS is now the MPG sticker for your home”. While buyers do not want to pay for the upgrades to a new home, it’s what separates new homes from the old. Look for HERS, Energy Star and other energy efficient brands.

8. Demographics Will Drive Design. The Baby Boom and Gen Y (aka Millennials), because of the size of their generations, will drive design. Multi-generational homes and immigrant demand, while smaller in number, make their mark on design with different needs for living spaces.

We’ll look at some of these trends in more depth in the coming weeks. If you have an example of one of these trends from your market (or a different point of view), please leave a comment. I would like to hear about your experience. – Maureen

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