Are Household Needs and Desires Evolving
The homes that buyers are looking for have changed over the past 30 or 40 years. There was a time that having a fomral dining room was high up on the list of what a Lethbridge home buyer was looking for in a home. Nowdays, it seems that fewer and fewer people see that as a benefit and almost no buyers ever have that on their short list of features that they must have in their next home.
For a brief decade the basement family room was the most important room in the house. This was sometimes replaced with an above the garage great room, but either way it was a big room designed for holding multiple people so they could all stare at television together. The demand for these large tv rooms or rec rooms has started to drop now, although I think most real estate agents still have yet to notice it. I believe it is because less and less of a families social life is focused around the television now.
A recent buyer demand item is a 'man cave' which is yet another room which has replaced the demand for a den or a rec room. Still it is a place to socialize, but that socializing is more focused around manly hobbies and less around the television. Sometimes this is converted basement space and other times it is even sacrificed garage space that is used to make this now important room. I expect this trend will continue as the television continues to become less and less a household focal point each year.
Other rooms in the house have had little evolution. Kitchens have got fancier, but still do the same basic function. Bedrooms have place more importance on closets and less on space for large dressers and chests. Bathrooms have got slightly larger and fancier. But overall, the only real recnet and trending change I see is that due to the devaluation of a television room.
If I had to predict what might be next to evolve it would be the disappearance of the home office. This was always a room where the desktop computer was the center of activity, but with everyone moving as much of their lives to mobile as possible, will we still need 150 square feet of real estate devoted to housing a desk and a computer we rarely use anymore? Other than those with homebased businesses, I can't see anyone but a Lawyer, Realtor, or Accountant feeling like they need to have one.
What do you think the next evolution of new homes will be? Simply smaller and more efficient? Fancier and higher end finishing? Or the disappearance of formal dining rooms, television rooms, and home offices? What do you think?