This custom home features a nice white exterior with black trim.

Recent housing data shows that single-family new construction homes are increasing in size. COVID-19 has changed the way homeowners view their home and its square footage. Stay at home orders made homeowners live, work, school and play in their homes 24/7 during the height of the pandemic.

The Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis revealed in the third quarter 2021 report that the square footage went from 2,337 square feet to 2,541 square feet for a median single-family home.

The NAHB Eye on Housing reveals that median home size has is 9.3% higher since the Great Recession lows. The average size for a single-family home is now 6.2% higher on a one-year moving average basis since the recession.

If you are in the market for a new home contact your local Realtor. A local sales professional can help you with your new home.

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A bathroom especially the primary bathroom is a homeowner’s relaxing space. In fact, the key phrase for bathrooms for 2022 is “calming retreat.” Homeowners are looking for a space with mood-setting lights and unclutter spaces and simple tilework to set a tranquil mood. Professionals say there are six trends to follow in 2022 when it comes to designing your tranquil space.

1. Return of the Bath

Many people prefer showers and some prefer baths. Even if you are a shower person, 2022 is looking to bathtubs being the focal point of the primary bathroom. Especially in today’s uncertain times, homeowners are looking for ways to decompress and relieve the stress of the day. Bathtubs are a great way to take some time to yourself and relax.

“In past years, deck tubs were taken out to allow for larger showers, but I think adding a tub back into the bathroom will be on the rise in 2022,” says Susan Froehlich, co-owner and design and selections coordinator at Corinthian Fine Homes in Indianapolis. “While shower design was the ‘wow’ of the room in the past, tubs will take a bigger focus, with floor-mounted plumbing and two-toned tubs.”

2. Attention to Light

No one wants fluorescent lighting in the place they get ready in the morning for the day nor in the space, they relax in. Lighting needs to be right and is a priority when it comes to the 2022 bathroom.

“Lighting for bathrooms has definitely evolved beyond your basic overhead light,” says Sara English, lead designer at AMEK Design + Build in Bloomington, Minnesota. “Our designers are appreciating the range of lighting and finishes available to show clients for mirrors, sconces, chandeliers and beyond. It’s fun to remodel bathrooms and use lighting to change the whole feeling of the room.”

“While wall sconces continue to be the most popular lighting choice in 2021, we believe more thought will be given to additional ceiling lighting in 2022. Dependent on the height of the room, we are seeing more great choices for flush-mount or semi-flush lighting options. Various metal finishes will always be here to stay, but an increase in sparkle and glitz is on the rise next year,” Froehlich says.

3. Double Vanities

Today’s busy homeowners look to the bathroom as their own space. Having double vanities is a plus but having vanity storage space has become a priority of 2022.

”We believe these ‘his and hers’ vanities will differ in size and function in 2022,” Froehlich says. “More ladies are wanting a makeup vanity and drawers that fit all of their hair appliances, while the men want electric shaving and toothbrush charging built in.”

We are getting into more precise and thoughtful storage for items such as hair dryers, grooming devices, makeup and towels, etc.,” English says. “U-shaped drawers at the top of vanities take advantage of the often unused space around sink plumbing, and in addition, we are adding outlets to closets and drawers for recharging needs.”

4. Calming Retreat

Today everyone is busier than ever coping with everyday life on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a space to escape to and decompress is very important.

“Bathrooms are definitely becoming spa-like retreats,” says Tess Ceron, designer and principal at Belle Decor & Design in Orlando, Florida. “For 2022, designs will be simplified, with muted color palettes and lots of texture and natural elements to instill a sense of tranquillity.”

“With the stresses of everyday life, homeowners are wanting their bathrooms to be their sanctuary,” Froehlich says. “We think it will be a place of calm and relaxation in 2022, with more soaking tubs and calming colors, such as blues and soft greens.”

5. Clean Lines

Professionals are saying that 2022 is all about streamlined fixtures and beautifully clean lines, with larger tiles, fewer grout lines and linear infinity drains.  Designers are seeing more wall-mounted faucets and seamless quartz countertops and backsplashes.

“The simple, clean lines that result give a heightened sense of sophistication without the stuffiness,” says Sara English, lead designer at AMEK Design + Build in Bloomington.

6. Luxury Showers

For the homeowners that like a shower over a bath, showers are still a key component in the 2022 bathroom designs. Features that we will now see will be twin shower heads, black instead of chrome hardware, built-in bench seats and larger door openings.

“Roll-in showers and grab bars will be considered the norm,” Froehlich says. “Most of our homeowners ask for a ‘spa-like’ bathroom to relax in and escape the busyness of life. It’s no longer just a space to get ready in the morning or brush your teeth at the end of the day. It’s a place to be enjoyed.”

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This custom home features a nice white exterior with black trim.

This September has seen a gain in single-family permits. The first nine months of 2021 reported year-to-date (YTD) got up to 864,184. This is a 21.2% increase from the 713,286 reported in September 2020.

All four regions had a very strong increase year-to-date ending in September 2021. The South saw the largest increase of 22.8% while the Midwest reported the lowest at 16.1%. The Northeast reported 20.4% and the West 20.3%. For multifamily permits, the West reported 35.3, Midwest 26.7%, the South 24.5% and the Northeast 17.7%.

Of the four regions, 49 states and the District of Columbia reported an increase of single-family permits issued. The highest growth was in the District of Columbia with a 234.7% increase! Mississippi was the only state that saw a decline of 0.5% during September 2021.

At the local level, below are the top 10 metro areas that issued the highest number of single-family permits.

Metropolitan Statistical Area Single-family Permits: (Units #YTD, NSA)
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 40,255
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 39,161
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 27,534
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 24,928
Austin-Round Rock, TX 19,250
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 15,444
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 14,767
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 12,725
Jacksonville, FL 12,725
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 12,625

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A farmhouse feel in this open floor plan home with a nice custom wood beam and fresh hardwood floors.

When it comes to the air in your home, it has become more important now than ever in this day in age. The COVID-19 pandemic kept the country indoors and in their homes a lot within the past couple of years. In the past, air pollution has been focused on the outdoor air quality but with the past stay-in-door orders, this has also brought our home’s air quality into the equation.

Our indoor air quality can affect our health and our well-being. Bad indoor air quality leads to colds, the flu, asthma allergies, impaired sleep and concentration, sluggish productivity, mood disorders and health problems.

Professionals in the industry report that more than half of the homes in the country do not have correct ventilation which leads to poor indoor quality. Surprisingly, indoor air pollutants can be found in your home’s paint, furniture, carpets and cleaning products.

“Understanding the sources and, more importantly, controlling the causes behind common indoor pollutants can help to protect the health of your family, and one of your most important investments — your home,” says Scott Rasmussen, president of Quality Edge.

Below are some tips on how you can improve your indoor environment at home to help with indoor air quality.

Proper Ventilation Is Crucial for Clean Air

While your home does need to be weatherproofed, it still needs to be able to breathe. Proper ventilation is imperative for this and helps alleviate those indoor pollutants.

“Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources, and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out,” Rasmussen says. He adds that proper ventilation is crucial for clean air.

Your attic is one of the first places you should start. A home’s attic needs continuous ventilation. An attic with no airflow causes mold, growth, mildew and rot. Make sure the ventilation at the eave edge can bring fresh air in through the roof exhaust vents.

If this is a concern for you and your home, you might want to consider investing in a high-performance roof ventilation system. This kind of system will do its job well but is architectural pleasing to the eye and will not stand out and ruin your home’s curb appeal.

Extend the Life of Your Home

A new roof with an adequate roof ventilation system will help do this. As a homeowner, you will be able to avoid costly repairs due to mold, rotten wood or odor buildup with this system.

Another way to extend the life of your home is to add vented soffit products that will not only help with the health of your home but will add to your home’s curb appeal. These products do this by elevating the look of your house’s exterior.

“Replacing your soffit also presents a great opportunity to update your home’s trim colors,” Rasmussen says.

Prevent Leaks

A home’s exterior siding can prevent water leaks. These leaks will seep into your home’s interior causing moisture damage and mold. Professionals suggest a moisture-wicking siding should be used on a new home or added to a remodel.

If you cannot afford to replace your current siding, then a regular maintenance check-up is suggested. Look for cracks that can be scaled up to help prevent any water leaks.

Other Steps to Take

There are many simple things you can do to your existing home that will help with air quality. Make sure to clean and dust regularly which will minimize indoor air pollutants. Also regularly check your HVAC system and replace their filters several times a year.

Remember the quality of the air in your home does not only affect those that live in the house but extends the health and life of the home itself. “High temperature and humidity levels in your attic spaces due to inadequate ventilation can increase your energy costs, reduce the effectiveness of your home’s insulation, cause premature aging of your home’s building materials and void your home’s roof warranty,” Rasmussen says.

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Simple modern design in this master bathroom. Featuring a huge walk in shower.

Covered front porch with real wood rustic columns welcomes you into this home.Home appreciation has been busy this year. According to many leaders in the industry, home prices have been skyrocketing all year and are still on the rise. Data shows all over the market that the percentages are still rising year-over-year.

The latest percentages of the year-over-year increase in home price appreciation are all-around 18%. The House Price Index (HPI) that is part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported 18.8%, the S. National Home Price Index from S&P Case-Shiller 18.6% and the Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic is 18%.

The increases are found across the board at every price point. CoreLogic’s HPI sees almost a 19% increase year-over-year in all price points. The low price point saw a 22.1% increase, the low-to-middle saw a 20% increase, the middle-to-moderate saw a 19.9% increase and the high price point saw a 19.1% increase.

The FHFA reported an increase across the country. The highest increase year-over-year in the second quarter in 2021 was in the mountain region is 22.9% and the lowest was seen in West North Central with a 14.9% increase. The remainder includes New England at 20.4%, Pacific at 20.1%, South Atlantic at 17.3%, Middle Atlantic at 17.1%, East South Central at 16.4%, East North Central at 15.7%, West South Central at 15% and West North Central at 14.9%. Overall the United States saw an average of a 17.4% increase.

Prices in 2022 should also increase. The future still sees a low housing inventory with high demands. Home appreciation will still be going on in 2022 but more moderate.

“Given the widespread demand and considering the number of standalone homes built during the past decade, the single-family market is estimated to be undersupplied by 4.35 million units by 2022,” reported CoreLogic.

If you are in the market for a home, contact your local Realtor who can help you along the way. The next year 2022 will hopefully see a great boost in the housing market.

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A nice foyer with double entry doors.Ninety-five percent of new single-family homes built in 2020 were built with central air conditioning (AC) systems according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC). Homes with central AC have been increasing since 2000 when there were only 85.5%.

The percentage of new single-family starts with central AC is different in the nine Census divisions. In West South Central, South Atlantic and West North Central divisions 100% had central AC installed, in East South Central 99%, and in East North Central 96%, in New England 83% and the lowest in the Pacific with 80%.

Ninety-nine percent of new single-family homes were built with an air or ground source heat pump or a forced-air system for the primary heating source of the home. As for each division, in the East South Central 77%  air or ground heat pumps were used, in the South Atlantic 75% and in the West South Central 20%. Air or ground heat pumps are primarily used in warmer climates because they are less efficient in colder regions. As for fuel, 50% of new homes built in 2019 used natural gas while only 45 used electricity.

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The wood trim above the garage is a custom feature.

With a strong housing market and shortage of inventory, many buildersA rocking chair front porch that welcomes you to this home. have gone from building custom homes to speculative homes only. Builders do have to still target buyers. Smart homes and healthy homes are a way to do this.

The industry leaders report that buyers will pay a premium for energy efficiency, smart home tech and healthy homes. Once the pandemic began, health and energy savings have become even more of an important factor. In fact, former National Association of Home Builders Chairman Randy Noel has turned to building spec only.

Noel, from Reve, Inc., spent 30 years building custom homes only. He is now currently building a spec home for the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans’ Parade of Homes. The home features products and materials that are efficient, resilient, healthy and smart home tech.

“You can, with a great deal of confidence, build a healthier home for your customers going forward,” Noel stated following the (WWYW) certification process.

Healthy homes are recognized under the pilot the Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW). There is a list of Healthy Home Features which include:

  • Maximizing natural light,
  • Detaching the garage from the home and connecting it via a breezeway,
  • Installing locking cabinets for pharmaceuticals and garden chemicals,
  • Controlling humidity for the outside fresh air being brought into the home and reducing stress on the heat pump,
  • Removing contaminants from the incoming utility water through reverse osmosis water filters,
  • Installing automatic faucets to reduce touch points,
  • Incorporating an electromagnetic field (EMF) control cabinet — the interior of which is painted with a special electromagnetic wave-blocking paint — for electronics charging,
  • Integrating automatic vents in the bathroom to exhaust damp air from the home,
  • Installing a non-combustible, electric fireplace and induction cooktop,
  • Incorporating a kitchen herb wall.

If you are interested in seeing a healthy home, the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans’ Parade of Home is located in Ashton Plantation in Luling, LA. The home has been given the 2020 Best in American Living Gold Award for Healthy Home and was a finalist for the 2020 NAHB Global Innovation Award International Home the Year.

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Nice new custom built home close to the city of New Orleans.

June 2020 saw a small decline in single-family new home sales to around 6.6% according to the National Association of Home Builders Eye on the Economy. The annualized rate fell to 676,000. Although the past several months have seen a small monthly decline, the new home sale is still 13.5% higher on a year-to-year basis from 2020.

The small decline according to some industry professionals is from the lack of inventory and the higher construction costs while other industry leaders believe it is caused due to the higher new home prices. New home prices have risen 10% since January 2020.

The new home inventory is down by 44% which is a little over 34,000 homes over the last year. Supply factors including the material, labor and lots are holding builders back. The survey also indicated that today’s buyers are not happy with housing affordability. In fact, the share of buyers who can afford less than half the homes available for sale worsened from 63% at the end of 2020 to 71% by midyear.

Although the market is still going strong, those who did not purchase during the second quarter of 2021 was due to pricing. The higher construction cost and development costs have hindered housing prices. The GDP growth for the second quarter was at a low of 6.5%. The good news is that NAHB is predicting an overall growth rate of just under 7% for the whole year. This will be the best rate seen since 1984.

This is still a good time to buy as mortgage rates are still reasonable. If you are in the market for a home, contact your local Realtor.

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Custom built new home that is close to New Orleans.

During the release of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Survey of Construction (SOC) it was reported that over half (65%) of new single-family homes built in 2020 were constructed on slab foundations. The remaining accounted for 22% with a full/partial basement and 12% with a crawl space.

In fact, there is a wider gap between a slab and full/partial basement and this gap is still widening. This can be seen in the reports from previous years. In 2000 only 46% of new single home starts were built on slabs. This is not the case with new homes constructed on a basement. In 2000 36.8% were built on basements while only 22% were in 2020.

The percentages differ from region to region. New homes that were built on slab foundations were predominant in the West South Central (95.7%), followed by the South Atlantic (79.4%), next was the Pacific (97.7%) and still strong but a little under half in the Moutain Region (48.1%).

Over the past decade, most new single-family homes were built on slab foundations. Experts say this is due to the warmer climate. In the East South Central division, 43% of the new single-family homes were built on a crawl space which outnumbered the 38% that were built on slabs.

The climate in each region plays a big part in what types of foundations are used in that area. Homes that are built in colder areas must have their foundations built below the frost line. This means that the majority are built on partial or full basements. New England saw 79.8% of new homes built with full/partial basements, West North Central (77.2%), Middle Atlantic 69.5% and East North Central 54.3%.

The survey also reported the average area of a finished basement in the colder regions. In the East North Central new single-family construction homes had 1,156sq. ft., while West North Central had 998sq. ft., Middle Atlantic 921 sq. ft. and in New England 734 sq. ft. According to the survey nationwide the average finished basement area was 1,137 sq. ft. in 2020.

If you are in the market for a new home, now is a great time to buy. Check with a local Realtor who can help you with the process from start to finish.

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Nice new custom built home close to the city of New Orleans.

According to the US Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) and information gathered by NAHB two-story homes are on the decrease. They found in 2020 the same amount of two-story homes started was equal to single-story homes.

Nationwide, the share of new homes with two or more stories fell from 52% in 2019 to 50% in 2020, while the share of new homes with one story grew from 48% to 50%.  The South region has seen the most increase in one-story homes for three straight years. One story new homes started in 2020 shows the most in West South Central with 62%. The least was in New England with 15%.

The 2020 Survey of Construction shows each region divided by new homes with a single story and new homes with two or more. The Pacific region shows 39% built were one story while 61% were two or more, Mountain showed 51% single while 49% were two or more, West North Central had 57% one story while 43% were two or more, West South Central had 62% one story with 38% two or more, East North Central showed 56% were one story while 44% were two or more, East South Central showed 61% one story and 39% two or more, the South Atlantic came in with 48% one story and 52% two or more, Middle Atlantic with 28% one story and 72% two or more, and New England with 15% one story and 85% two or more.

That means that four of these nine divisions saw the greatest newly-built homes with two or more stories. In fact, two or more story homes were seen in greater amounts in the divisions along the coasts around the country. As far as single-story homes, the Midwest and South won.

A surprising twist to the current home market that might have stemmed from the pandemic. If you are in the market for a new home, call a local Realtor in your area. A Realtor will be able to help you with your home search.

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