May 22nd, 2011

Housing of the Future?

Every year, Fine Homebuilding publishes its annual awards issue, Houses, and I usually make sure to get it. I pour over the pages of new and renovated homes, but I also read through the articles on trends and technology in the home building industry. This year’s Houses included the article, ”What’s the Future of Home Building?”, featuring prognostications on housing from seven influential leaders in the industry. I have summarized their predictions below, but the overriding theme is that we will see smaller homes that make more efficient use of space and materials that are located closer to urban centers because of high-energy costs and the tastes of a younger demographic.

Marianne Cusato, Architect:

Homes will be smaller and affordable housing will become more attractive. Designers will begin prioritizing things that can be felt and enjoyed. She adds that you can’t enjoy a faux stone facade or another gable, but you can benefit from an extra window or a front porch.

Jim Leach, Developer:

Cohousing will not become mainstream, but we will see more developers involved in cohousing. As people look to cut back on expenses, this method of sharing amenities and pooling resources will become a growing form of social sustainability.

Catherine Ross, Transportation and Urban Planning Expert:

Generation Y will choose lifestyle over the ever-reliable location. This generation doesn’t see housing as a nest egg but simply a place to live. She believes that Gen Y will want to be connected to the places important to them – work, entertainment, and each other (although this seems like location to me).

Carl Seville, Green Builder:

Distressed inner city property is cheap, and there is a future in it. Also, we need no more single family housing, especially that which that relies on long commutes and high-energy consumption. He sees more lease options if federal incentives come into play for rentals as they have existed for home ownership

Mitchell Joachim, Futurist:

Sustainability is too vague a concept. The future is in engineering smarter solutions. Structures will be of more organic materials, and we will see self-regulated homes.

Witold Rybczynski, Writer:

There won’t be much change in the appearance or function of homes in the future. In fact, lifestyles and choices will return to the way they were before the recession similar to the euphoria after the Great Depression.

Lee Sobel, Author:

The struggling suburban mall already has infrastructure and land is cheaper in the suburbs. Suburban malls will be refashioned and/or the land they sit on will be repurposed into modern hubs or town centers.  He sees a future in this trend, “suburban renewal”.

Author: Tory

  • Terry E. Kearns

    This is what I think: “In fact, lifestyles and choices will return to the way they were before
    the recession similar to the euphoria after the Great Depression”