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The Evolution of the Dream House: The 1960s vs 2016

The typical American home has evolved significantly over the last 50 years. While buyers both now and then prefer the single-family in the ‘burbs, buyers in 2016 are bringing a new list of qualifications to the table – namely they want adaptable, open and efficient spaces.

When it comes to future design preferences, buyers will prioritize efficient design and energy efficiency.

According to Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, location will play a larger part in where buyers choose to build and single-family home sales will soon over take multi family. “We may see a rise in townhomes and locations near urban villages with walkability features, but overall the same preferences that have been in the market for generations will remain. Most people want to own their own home and want their own place out in the suburbs, and I think that will continue.”

Here’s a break down of the major design differences between homes then and now.


New-home characteristics in 1966

Average home size was much smaller

One-story homes were popular with builders and buyers

The kitchen, dining and living rooms were all separate

Laundry rooms were located in the basement

The efficiency of home features was not a big concern


New-home characteristics in 2016

The average size of homes keeps growing, mainly because builders are catering to a higher-income, older demographic

60 percent have at least 2 stories. The need for multiple levels is due to millennial wanting more space for their growing families, and also because of the increase in multi-generational households.

Open-floor design is the new norm across all generations of buyers

New home construction emphasizes energy efficiency and efficient design

Laundry rooms are usually located on the homes main level

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Source: Real Estate Today Radio