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Surprises and Pitfalls: The Latest Trends from International Home Builders Convention in Las Vegas

Realty News Report editor Ralph Bivins overlooks the Las Vegas Strip from the High-Roller during the International Builders Show.

LAS VEGAS – (By Ralph Bivins, Editor of Realty News Report) – It was the biggest attendance in 10 years. Some 100,000 people descended into the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas last week.

Restaurants were packed. Traffic was tough. But bigger is always better, isn’t it?

Thousands of new ideas and products were unveiled at the International Builders Show. Once again, the NAHB show was ground zero for new trends.

The convention trend highlights:

What do buyers like? Laundry rooms are the No. 1 desire of home buyers, according to a NAHB survey of home buyers. Other leaders in top priories are energy efficient windows and appliances, patios, ceiling fans, garage storage and exterior lighting.

What do buyers hate?  Elevators, wine cellars, cork flooring and plants on the roof are the most unwanted features, the NAHB survey said. Developers of master planned communities should note: Forty-seven percent of home buyers do not want to live in a golf course community.

Townhomes are HOT! One bright spot is townhome construction, which is expanding at a robust 24 percent annualized growth rate. Townhomes, with a small land footprint, are a more affordable housing product and appear to be a solution for Millennials and first-time buyers, said Danushka Nanayakkara, a NAHB economist.

Building smaller: The average sized home in the nation was 2,576 SF, the third year in a row for houses to shrink. The peak year was 2015 when the average new home hit 2,689 SF. Builders are reducing home size in order to meet demand in the low-end of the buying market, said the NAHB’s Rose Quint.

Falling Fast: The two-story soar is losing popularity. The 18-foot high foyer and the two-story family rooms are not hot items anymore. This trend fades as consumers seek higher energy efficiency.

The New American Remodel 2019, an exhibit home at NAHB’s IBS convention in Las Vegas. Photo: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report.

Plastic Kitchen: Laminate countertops fall lower on the popularity scale. Granite countertops and engineered quartz surfaces are preferred.

Smart Home Builder Tips: Other items ranked high among home buyers include exterior lighting, walk-in pantries, hardwood flooring, double kitchen sinks. Sinks should be stainless steel. Builders would be wise to include these features.

Interest rates: NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said interest rates are anticipated to gradually rise, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgages expected to average 4.81 percent this year and 5.08 percent next.

Show Home: The New American Remodel was a redo/rebuild of two-story house built in the 1950s. The remodel features a “modern, West Coast design” and was built by Luxus Design Build LLC. It has a large glass front door and a backyard citrus garden.

Another Show Home:  The New American Home 2019 was built in the Ascaya community, a mountaintop development overlooking the the city of Las Vegas. The builder is Sun Coast Custom Homes. It is expected to achieve Emerald-level status, the highest efficiency rating of the National Green Building Standard. The views from Ascaya are world-class.

Feb. 26, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019


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