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Trend Watch: Home Design Gets Simpler

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

As home buyers continue to rank affordability high, more home styles are getting simpler and homes are becoming lower maintenance, according to the latest Home Design Trends Survey, conducted by the American Institute of Architects.

Simpler exterior details and the use of durable building products are growing in popularity, according to the third-quarter survey of architects, which mostly focused on community and neighborhood design.

“Consumers are favoring homes with low-maintenance exterior materials such as fiber-cement, stone, tile, and natural earth plasters,” according to the report. “This significantly outpaces any other home exterior feature in terms of its increase in popularity. Over the past year, there has been a dramatic decrease in the popularity of sustainable roofing materials, as well as in ‘cool’ roofs with high solar reflective characteristics. Tubular skylights have also decreased in popularity over the past year.”

Also, could large residential subdivisions start becoming a thing of the past? According to the survey of architects, there has been a shift away from large residential subdivisions toward smaller-scale infill development projects, which tend to focus more on affordability, access to public transportation, nearby commercial opportunities, and job centers. The survey also revealed increased interest among consumers for neighborhoods that can accommodate a growing number of multigenerational households and that encourage more interaction with the community.

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