Washington, D.C – March 31, 2009 – As the housing market continues to suffer, demand is declining for upscale products and features for kitchens and bathrooms. There is also a greater emphasis on accessibility and universal design to make home life easier and safer for an aging population. Renewable materials and products that promote energy efficiency are still growing in popularity.
Residential architects have reported the weakest business conditions in the four-year history of this survey, indicating that the housing market is not yet showing signs of recovery. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey focused specifically on kitchen and bathrooms in the fourth quarter of 2008.
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“Because of concerns over affordability and re-sale value, it’s not surprising that there has been a sharp decline in demand for high-end kitchen and bath products,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “However, some products and features remain in high demand. Despite the difficult economic conditions, homeowners are extremely interested in renewable flooring and countertops, energy-efficient and water saving products, as well as having a dedicated recycling center.”
|Popular kitchen products and features*||2008||2007|
|Renewable flooring materials||54%||61%|
|Larger pantry space||50%||51%|
|Renewable countertop materials||49%||49%|
|Computer area / recharging stations||48%||56%|
|Integration with family space||40%||43%|
|Drinking water filtration systems||31%||44%|
|Wine refrigerators / wine storage||27%||49%|
|Popular bathroom products and features*||2008||2007|
|Water saving toilets||57%||57%|
|Accessibility / universal design||52%||58%|
|Radiant heated floors||50%||62%|
|Linen closet / storage||25%||30%|
“While it’s natural that there is very little demand for move-up and vacation homes given the current state of the economy, this is the first time in the survey’s history that the additions / alterations and kitchen and bath remodeling sectors are reported to be weakening nationally,” said Baker.
Specific construction segments (index score computed as % of respondents reporting improving minus those reporting weakening conditions)