NAHB survey: Most popular home features for 2016
- The National Association of Home Builders asked builders what features they plan to include in their 2016 single-family homes, and a master bedroom walk-in closet, a laundry room and a great room were the three most common answers.
- Energy-saving features made the top 10 as well with low-e windows, Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows. Nine-foot-plus first-floor ceilings, central kitchen islands and granite countertops also made the list.
- The features builders are least likely to install in 2016 are cork flooring in main living areas, pet washing stations, laminate countertops and outdoor kitchens. Also not likely to make it into any builder sales brochures this year are media rooms, two-story foyers, two-story family rooms, sunrooms and outdoor fireplaces, according to the survey.
The number of energy-efficiency-related home features on the NAHB's list coincides with a growing trend in the residential sector toward a focus on green building. Although commercial construction has typically led the pack in green adoption, the residential sector is starting to catch up. And the reason for that change is driven not just by a desire to produce environmentally friendly structures, but by consumer demand, higher-quality results and lifecycle cost savings.
The beginning of the year always sees a plethora of top 10 and prediction lists about what will be hot in the year to come. Last month, the American Institute of Architects offered a variation on that trend and released its design trend predictions for the next decade.
The AIA said the key trends in the decade to come will be universal design, a healthy living environment, infill development with a focus on improved design, and kitchens that serve as the center of household activities.
One AIA long-term trend that seems to be in opposition to the NAHB list, at least for this year, involves outdoor spaces. Outdoor living features were losers in the NAHB survey, but the AIA predicted that the next decade will see "heavy emphasis and investment" in outdoor living spaces.
Granite countertops, open floor plans (similar to the great room), walk-in closets and high ceilings also made Realtor.com’s 2015 list of the most common features cited in their sales listings — demonstrating that many of these items are standards we can expect to see not only in 2016 but for many years to come.
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