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A Suburban Shift for Home Building

A Suburban Shift for Home Building

Coronavirus has altered the home buying and building preferences according to this article from the National Association of Home Builders. More and more people than ever before have been forced to work from home during the pandemic. When working remotely why live in the city when you can live in less densely populated areas? 

A Suburban Shift for Home Building

Evidence of a suburban shift for consumer home buying preferences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in the second quarter National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Home Building Geography Index (HBGI).

“The increasing demand for construction in more suburban neighborhoods is being driven in large part by the coronavirus outbreak,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “The growing trend for working at home is enabling more families to choose to live in lower cost, lower density communities. Moreover, persistent housing affordability challenges exacerbated by soaring lumber prices that have added $16,000 to the price of a single-family home since mid-April are adding to the need to find affordable housing in lower cost markets.”

“The county-level second quarter HBGI data shows relative growth in lower density markets that represent half of all single-family construction,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.“ We saw initial evidence of this trend in the first quarter, and in recent months these markets have registered faster growth for both single-family and multifamily building, as the demand for new construction shifted to more suburban and exurban communities.”

The HBGI is a quarterly measurement of building conditions across the country and uses county-level information about single- and multifamily permits to gauge housing construction growth in various urban and rural regions.

Small metro suburbs accounted for the fastest growing geographical areas for single-family construction during the second quarter, up 10.6 percent on a four-quarter moving average basis. This was followed by small towns (9.3 percent), small metro core areas (7.5 percent) and exurbs (5.6 percent).

Other second quarter HBGI findings show:

  • In the second quarter, single-family housing starts fell by 24 percent on quarterly basis. Of the seven regional geographies, only small metro area suburbs posted a year-over-year gain in this quarter, while the others registered declines, the biggest of which occurred in large metro core areas.
  • The market share for single-family construction in low density areas (small metro core and suburbs, small towns and rural markets) increased from 47.5 percent a year ago to 48.4 percent.
  • The fastest growing geographies for apartment construction in the second quarter were found in the exurbs, small metro suburbs and rural areas.
  • The market share for multifamily construction in low density areas (exurban areas of large metro markets, small metro core and suburbs, small towns and rural markets) increased from 32.9 percent a year ago to 34 percent.

Although the year-to-year changes in single- and multifamily market shares in low density areas are seemingly small, changes in market share are usually slow to develop. This makes a one-percentage point year-over-year gain noteworthy, when compared to recent historical data.

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

With 2019 coming to an end, we're been scoring the internet and trade journals, as well as touring new homes, to find out what the latest trends in home design look like. While many trends remain from the past several years - Realtor grey is still an extremely popular color, white kitchens never really go out of style - there are some new interior design trends that are making a come back, and some that we expected to trend long ago. 

Like all things, your home and the way you decorate it are dependent only on what works for you and your lifestyle, these trends are hot, but they may not work for everyone. 

Design Trends to Look for in 2020

Go Green

Big, bold plants are making a huge come-back. Think the 70s with large ferns and elephant ear plants. Not only are these beautiful plants a great way to bring the outdoors inside, they also help to clean the environment, look fantastic, and add a pop of color to any room.

Multi-Use Spaces

This trend is due in part to the tiny house craze that's been going on of late. In smaller homes space has to be multi-use. An office is also a spare bedroom, the laundry room is also a craft room. 

Multi-Use Furniture

The Murphy bed is making a comeback due to this trend. Your home office can also be a bedroom with the flip of a switch (or the tug of a cord). 

Recycled Materials

With concern about our use of plastics and other man-made materials filling our oceans and landfills, it's no wonder that innovative companies are creating furnishings out of previously used materials. Patio furniture made from recycled milk cartons last forever and look great. The same is happening for interior pieces too.

Sport Courts

While many homes are getting smaller, some are going big and in those large homes you'll often find sport courts. These are great in climates where going outside in harsh weather is dangerous, or for sporty families that need to practice and don't want to spend free time driving. They're also a great draw for the neighbors so be sure you like to entertain before adding one to your home.

Indoors go Outdoors

More and more we're seeing homes that have traditional indoor spaces - living areas, kitchens, dining rooms - taken outdoors. These are not simply porches or patios  - these are living spaces meant exclusively for the outdoors and to be enjoyed in all seasons.

Bold Color

You'll find bright, bold colors in most of the new homes being designed these days. And not just a pop of color but a whole wall of lemon yellow or lime green. Often used on textured surfaces. These can be stunning, certainly eye catching, but one wonders if they won't date the home like avocado green appliances did in the 70s.

 

Top Trends in Bathroom Design Everyone Will Love

Top Trends in Bathroom Design Everyone Will Love

At Preston Wood and Associations, we sell luxury townhouse floor plans. Whether you're building a few townhouses or a complete development like the one at Enclave at Stafford Oaks, we've got just the luxury townhouse floor plan for sale for you. Part of what makes our townhouse floor plans luxury designs is in no small part to the detail we put into our designs - and that includes the bathrooms.

Next to the kitchen, the bathroom is the room people are willing to spare no expense (at least within reason), and they do because comfort is key.

Or course, a bathroom is more than just a place to brush your teeth and shower, it's a place to begin each day and end each night. So it should be designed for comfort, functionality, and of course pleasing to the senses. 

These top trends in bathroom design have something for everyone. While tech is always a big part of home design and decor, many of the top trends are more practically inspired.

Top Trends in Bathroom Design

Accessibility 

Stainless steel grab bars and clumsy portable bath chairs are a thing of the past. Today's bathroom is designed with accessibility in mind. Homeowners are opting for no threshold showers and even "wet rooms" that encase both the shower and the tub for privacy, easy access and to keep the water out of the rest of the bathroom. Built in shower seating is also a great aging in place feature that many homeowners are insisting on today.

Hands Free Fixtures

Heads free fixtures have been available in public restroom for a while now and are now making their way into residential designs. Not only are they easier to use, but they are also more sanitary - hands free soap dispensers and touchless faucets can be great amenities if you have accessibility concerns.

Calming Decor

The bathroom is the buffer zone between wake and sleep so it's no surprise people want their bathrooms to feel more spa-like and less institutional. Choosing decor that is calming and easy to the senses is a great way to turn the bathroom into a relaxing retreat. Muted colors make the room feel softer and more inviting. Soft window treatments, antique furnishings such as framed mirrors and light fixtures can make even the smallest of bathroom feel like they were made for a king, or queen. Don't forget to include some practical features that provide comfort like a magazine rack or wall mounted tablet for easy access. 

In Floor Heat

What used to be considered a luxury that only a few could afford has now become mainstream. In floor heating is that little bit of affordable luxury that will get your day off to a wonderful, and warm, start.

Smart Storage

Today's homeowners want not only lots of storage, but they want smart storage. That means utilizing the space efficiently. Many of our townhouses have 9" or taller ceilings, that's a lot of storage space that can go unused if not designed properly. Vertical storage with cabinetry can be a lovely way to add much needed storage. Built in linen closets are another way to add additional storage to a room that is always in need of more.

Multiple Shower Heads

Why have just one shower head when you can have many? Turn your morning routine into a cascading waterfall. Kohler, Moen, Delta and Hansgrohe all feature not only beautifully designed shower heads, but also many with multiple shower heads.

Fire

Nothing says luxury like a fireplace in the bathroom. Design a spa-like atmosphere with a built in gas fireplace to stare into as you relax and unwind from a busy week. 

Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly Bathrooms were all the rage at this past International Builders' Show. Homeowners are demanding pet friendly bathrooms be incorporated into their designs. Usually there are separate spaces for the pet's use only (with the assistance of their human, of course) when space permits. Where space is at a premium, a lower hand held shower makes bathing Spot much easier,  it's also helpful for those who need to sit while showering.

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