Latest Home Trend? House Sizes No Longer Decreasing

It may not be a return to the McMansion-sized homes of the 1980s and early ’90s, but the latest survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shows a reversal in the six-year trend of smaller home sizes.

According to the AIA’s quarterly Home Design Trends survey, architects are reporting increases in the size of both remodeled and new-construction homes, with 20 percent of architects reporting an increase of volume.

During the height of the housing boom, more than 50 percent of architects reported increasing home sizes in the AIA’s 2005 survey. Following the bust, home sizes dramatically decreased, with only 10.8 percent of architects reporting an increase in home size in 2009.

This Issaquah, WA, home for sale, above, was built in 2009 and has 2,010 square feet of living space.

Steadying home values appear to have a positive effect on the size of homes, and thus the industries surrounding the housing market — including remodeling and new construction.

Where is the new space in homes going?

When homes were decreasing, architects and builders reported decreases in formal dining rooms and mudrooms. As home sizes begin to steady, homeowners are adding more indoor/outdoor spaces and open layouts. Accessibility also continues to be of huge importance to homeowners.

This built-new home in Temple City, CA, above, features extensive indoor/outdoor space.

In particular, outdoor living spaces, in the form of sunrooms and large patios, have become the “new great room in terms of must-have items for homeowners,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.