New York -- Results from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) third quarter Home Design Trends Survey shows a sizeable increase in demand for automated home systems, including smart thermostats, window covering and security devices. The latest survey results—focusing on home features—also reveals the demand for au pair/in-law suites and outdoor living spaces continuing to grow and topping the list of special function rooms.

“Outdoor living areas and au pair suites have been popular for years, but the growth in demand for dedicated home automation systems is indicative of the increasing availability of smart home features,” said Kermit Baker, PhD., AIA chief economist. “As the list of home automation options grows, architects will continue to see demand for integrating these products and systems into the broader design approaches.”

A little more than half (53%) of respondents reporting increasing demand for accommodations that can house multiple generations of family members, while fewer than 1% reported declining interest. This score is up five percentage points from 2018. Almost 53% of respondents report increased popularity for ramps and elevators, while only 3% report declining interest, which is up 7 percentage points from 2018.

Low maintenance materials continue to remain popular and topped this year’s product category. Smart thermostats were the second most popular feature for products as part of the survey.

In addition to surveying popular home features and products, the Home Design Trends Survey also provides insights into residential architecture firm business conditions. Third quarter results are: billings at 57.8; and inquiries for new projects at 59.3. Regional averages were: Northeast (63.6); South (60.0); West (54.1); and Midwest (51.8). The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.

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