The housing downturn has affected not only the number of new homes that are built each year, but also the characteristics, features and size of the ones that do get built. This includes technologies in and outside the home as well as overarching concepts such as green homes.

Many in the industry are wondering about how the new home will evolve over the next few years and whether those changes will stick once the economy bounces back to a more solid footing, according to Rose Quint, assistant vice president for survey research, Economics and Housing Policy for the National Association of Home Builders.

Builders surveyed expect homes to average 2,152 square feet in 2015, 10 percent smaller as compared than the average size of single-family homes started in the first three quarters of 2010. In addition to floor plan changes, 68 percent of builders surveyed say that homes in 2015 will also include more green features and technology, including low-E windows; engineered wood beams, joists or tresses; water-efficient features such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets; and an Energy Star rating for the whole house. Two green features considered “unlikely” candidates for the average new home in 2015: green certification from the LEED program and other renewable energy sources.

Broad Trends through 2015
(1 = Most probable, 5 = Least probable)
Percent of Respondents Rating Trend 1 and 2
Nearly seven in ten home builders feel that single-family homes will have more green features by 2015. Chart from NAHB