Keeping up with what’s new and innovative in real estate and design is essential, not to be vogueish but to stay educated about pioneering systems, products, and materials to benefit the planet and live more sustainably. Additionally, finding new usage for our rooms can maximize our spaces and add more delight to our lives. Here are ten trends that can positively influence whether homeowners reside in single or multi-family housing.

Homeowners Are More Likely to Stay

Many homeowners plan to stay put in the coming year due to steadily high 30-year mortgage rates and low inventory. Instead of moving, many plan to optimize their current living spaces. According to home design expert at The Plan Collection, Laurel Vernazza, for those with no plans to move, their wish lists include things like:

  • Sustainable features
  • Accessory dwelling units
  • Remodeled basements with saunas
  • Pickleball courts
  • Media centers and game rooms
  • Home offices
  • Outdoor space both at ground level and above
  • AI-driven tech that makes homes more energy-efficient and easier to use

These desires stem from homeowners wanting to remain active but decrease energy consumption and maintenance. Younger people reportedly favor sustainable materials sourced locally to trim carbon footprints.

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Specialized Needs for Aging Population

With aging baby boomers numbering 76.4 million, more attention is paid to their housing needs when they can’t remain home. To accommodate this, architectural firms like The Architectural Team (TAT) design facilities specifically for specialized needs. An example of these accommodations is The Cordwainer, which will feature private and double rooms with amenities such as a performance center, two-story atrium, memory care garden, and game room to stimulate brain function.

Reduced Single-Family Homes and Additional Townhomes

The ranch house is one of the most popular styles of new homes, with homes currently shrinking in size. This home style offers the flexibility to be opened up to both the indoors and outdoors. Stacked flats and attached townhomes have become popular due to the need for less square footage in dense sites. The primary reason for smaller single-family homes is lifestyle changes that favor fewer bedrooms due to higher mortgage rates.

Larger Apartments

While single-family homes are shrinking, apartments generally increase in square footage, especially since the pandemic. A large number of renters desire additional space to accommodate working from home.

Homeowners Desire Sustainable Energy

Sustainability is growing in popularity, particularly after the Department of Energy announced federally backed incentives for builders to make Zero Energy Ready Homes their standard. Builders focused on energy efficiency and lower construction waste can lower carbon emissions. Sustainable homes do a much better job withstanding harsh weather, curb termite damage, wood, rot, and mold, and are fire-resistant.

Rising Demand for Luxury Spec Building

Luxury builds such as waterfront sites have become particularly desirable. Favored features include a modern design with wood detailing, flat roofs, a pool, and an open plan with attractive kitchens. Spec building has picked up since slowing from 2012 to 2014 following an uptick in migration. Managing partner of The Boschetti Group, Jose R. Boschetti Jr., foresees buyers wanting more minimalistic designs and maintenance-free living.

Abundance of Amenities in Small Buildings

Architect Joshua Zinder of Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design says, “Having a good location just doesn’t cut it anymore.” Popular amenities such as shared parking, terraces, “Zoom Rooms,” bike storage, lounges, lobbies, and a ground-level coffee shop have become desirable among smaller buildings. These amenities allow smaller buildings to compete with larger ones while attracting newcomers and retaining current residents.

Continued Focus on Kitchens

With kitchens at the heart of many households, induction cooktops continue to grow in number. According to The Plan Collection, this is partially due to new home-building regulations phasing out gas ranges for sustainability and safety. Many trends stand out within the kitchen because many people continually choose to congregate in the kitchen. Therefore, a kitchen overhaul makes sense and, if done correctly, can last for the better part of 30 years.

Prioritized Natural Landscaping

Many homeowners wish to conserve ecosystems. In private backyards, the term “rewilding” means using native plants to create habitat, and this trend is enormously popular among those interested in restoring ecosystems and biodiversity. Bringing native plants to a landscape helps homeowners create a space that supports wildlife. Many homeowners know their impact on the environment and the dire need to protect wildlife.

Neutrals for the Exterior

According to residential and commercial color consultant Amy Wax, neutral colors are more popular now than ever. She says, “They are a safe choice, offer the opportunity to decorate a home with more emphasis on landscaping, give homeowners a chance to market their home without having to repaint, and are not subdued hues of the past.” Many neutrals are darker, and dark exterior accents emit confidence and create a bold street presence.