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U.S. Homeowners Prefer Walkable, Mixed-Use Developments

U.S. Homeowners Prefer Walkable, Mixed-Use Developments

Homeowners in the U.S. are showing higher preference for walkable communities and mixed-use developments, according to the American Institute of Architects.

The Home Design Trends Survey shows an emerging desire for communities with more pedestrian-friendly designs and more access to recreational activities.


Kermit Baker

"With a revival in interest in urban living, there has been a marked transition in what people are looking for in their communities" AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, said in the report. "Providing easy access to retail, entertainment, transportation, employment, and other elements associated with urban living environments will be a key factor as to whether communities can maintain their relevance and appeal."

Preference for mixed-use developments increased from 45 percent in 2012 to 58 percent this year. The desire for greater recreational opportunities jumped from 40 percent last year to 49 percent this year, according to AIA.

Nationwide residential architecture firms are reporting improved business conditions, led by remodeling activity, followed by improvements in every building sector except for second homes and vacation housing, AIA reports.

"These are the best conditions at residential architecture firms since prior to the housing bubble bursting," Mr. Baker said. "The increased project activity has also generated growing levels of project backlogs that can keep current staff fully employed without any new work coming in."

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