Americans seek smaller, more practical homes in uncertain market

Posted by DB Wilson on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 3:45pm.

REALTOR magazine reports that Americans are getting more practical with their must-haves in a home and in their use of space as the housing market outlook remains uncertain.

The magazine reports that a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders found that by 2015, homes will average 2,152 square feet – 10 percent smaller than the average size of single-family homes in the first three quarters of 2010.

Living rooms will likely be the first casualty of the reduction in home size. More than half of builders surveyed say that living rooms will merge with other spaces in the home, and 30 percent say that living rooms will vanish by 2015, REALTOR reports.

Here are the other changes to look for in the design of new homes in the next four years, according to the survey:

• Family rooms are the only area of the home expect to grow;

• The size of the entryway foyer and dining room will shrink;

• New homes in 2015 will likely come with a great room containing the kitchen, foyer and living room; walk-in closets in the master bedroom; a separate laundry room; ceiling fans; a master bedroom on the first floor in two-story homes; and a two-car garage.

New homes also are expected to include grow “greener” and more technologically advanced with such features as low-E windows, engineered wood beams, water-efficient features (such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets), and an Energy Star rating for the house, according to REALTOR magazine.

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