What New Homes in 2015 Will Look Like

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The sluggish housing market has reshaped what Americans will look for in their next home as home owners get more practical with their wish-list and wiser about their use of space.

By 2015, homes are expected to average 2,152 square feet–10 percent smaller than the average size of single-family homes in the first three quarters of 2010, according to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders.

Say goodbye to living rooms–they are likely to be the first casualty in new homes due to the dwindling square footage. More than half of builders say they expect that by 2015 the living room will merge with other spaces in the home, and 30 percent say living rooms will vanish completely.

Here are some other predictions about the changes in design of new homes by 2015, according to the survey:

  • Family rooms likely will increase in size–the only area of a home expected to get larger.
  • The size of the entryway foyer and dining room are expected to get smaller.
  • New homes in 2015 will likely come with the following: A great room containing the kitchen, foyer, and living room; walk-in closets in the master bedroom; a separate laundry room; ceiling fans; a master bedroom on the first floor in two-story homes; and a two-car garage.

Homes also are expected to become more “green” and technologically advanced, boasting such features as low-E windows, engineered wood beams, water-efficient features (such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets), and an Energy Star rating for the house.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. ALF

    Lord Grant me the ability to get a custom home built.

  2. That doesn’t sound much different to me that today’s homes.

  3. Carol Ann

    Very similar to the houses built today. However I believe there will be need for an office and 3 or 4 car garages.

  4. Barb

    I’m surprised a home office isn’t included in future builds

  5. Ann

    It sounds less expensive to build, however, people need some separation, quiet and privacy. And definitely with today’s electronics I’d think an office is a definite plus, for working, homework and households with avid computer game users.

  6. I agree with ALF! My ideal custom home would solve the “separation anxiety” problem that seems to exist in today’s new homes. They’re like living in a gold fish bowl for heaven’s sakes! While open floorplans are visually desirable, the reality of living so openly with so much going on, with no other means of escaping or separating away from all of the shared activities, noises, smells and people in a given open space, is just way too much anxiety for some. At the end of a meal, I’d like to relax in the family room or living room AWAY from all the kitchen noises and smells, and not have to retreat upstairs to a bedroom or down to a lower level area just to get away from it all!

  7. we are living this already!

  8. I agree if we are speaking of the formal living room our parents had. However, they can become the media center and gathering space. Families don’t want to always watch the same TV or always be together. They may become the media center or large screen rooms for games and shows.

    I also think the exceedingly large master baths will disappear. Garden tubs that don’t have jets just occupy space and are seldom used. The high counters will remain and become common place, as the his and her sinks. Larger showers but not gigantic, as water conservation will become more important. Buyers will want more and more efficient use of space, so vertical storage will become common.

  9. Jim

    Sounds like the future is already here.