House Design Trends

Much has been made of the changes that are happening in the residential home market resulting from a major demographic shift that is underway. That is, the two demographic bulges – baby boomers and ‘generation y’ – are transitioning through key life phases.

In the case of baby boomers, they are in the process of becoming empty nesters (sort of), and embarking or soon to embark, upon retirement. While the much maligned ‘generation y’ are beginning to fill the job market, and will be looking to leave the ‘nest’, so to speak. Both of these changes will influence the housing market, affecting everything from home prices in different areas, to the type of accommodations that will be built. So what are some of the changes we can expect in what is designed and offered for sale?

Of course nobody can say for sure, but we can hazard some pretty reasonable guesses. For example:

  • Both ‘generation y’ and baby boomers are attracted to ‘hip’ urban environments at this point in their lives, and will disproportionately seek new homes in Urban environments
  • A growing percentage of new urban home sales will involve smaller multi-unit dwellings as well as attached, and detached homes. This will be motivated by two factors. First, baby boomers are increasingly having to accommodate boomerang children as well as aging parents, and in some cases part-time employment. And so there is a growing need for flexible living spaces that aren’t easily accommodated by high-rise condominium towers. Secondly, the sheer volume of condominium towers is creating a bit of a backlash against them among some buyers.
  • Smaller living spaces are becoming a new reality for those seeking an urban lifestyle, and more walkable neighbourhoods as a majority of people claim to want. These smaller homes have the advantage of involving less maintenance and upkeep. Ensuring, however, that these smaller homes remain comfortable with a spacious ‘feel’ remains a real test of a builder’s design and construction talents
  • New post modern design styles will gain in popularity. Okay, I am going out on a bit of limb here, but we are increasingly hearing from customers that they are tired of the boxy looking McMansion semis that became so popular over the past 10 years. They are instead looking for modern designs that have a hint of Arts and Crafts ‘like’ architecture – perhaps a bit of nostalgia is coming into play.

According to Better Cities & Towns, the resulting

housing types achieve medium-density yields and provide high-quality, marketable options between the scales of single-family homes and mid-rise flats for walkable urban living. They are designed to meet the specific needs of shifting demographics and the new market demand and are a key component to a diverse neighborhood

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