What’s hot in new home construction

Now is good time to review home trends in residential building industry throughout Southwest Washington

With the 2018 Clark County Parade of Homes at the Parklands at Camas Meadows wrapping up in late September and all of the new home construction underway throughout Southwest Washington, it is a good time to review new home trends in the residential building industry.

Locally and according to the National Association of Home Builders, there are a number of trends in the main areas of a home – in the kitchen, bathrooms and home exteriors. There is only so much you can do with a bedroom, right?

There has been a blurring of the lines between commercial building and residential applications, for example, exposed beams with a soft industrial touch are popping up, along with clean, simple detailed lines going along with the less is more theme. With kitchens serving as the heart of a home and where people gather, open concept kitchens and living/family room styles continue to be popular. Pendant lighting, like you see at Starbucks, help to define different spaces in open concept floor plans.

As larger homes continue to be built to allow for builder profit as the cost of building continues to increase (due to higher labor costs, labor shortages in the building trades and the international tariff wars), formal dining rooms are making a comeback, allowing weekend chefs who love to entertain an opportunity to showcase their skills. With the baby boomer generation continuing to retire and age, multi-generational living continues to be popular. The high cost of housing in the Pacific Northwest continues to maintain an interest in the ability to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to allow for guest rentals (like VBRO.com or AirBnB.com) or a longer-term tenant rental.

Neutral and white colors continue to dominate the interior palette choice. Buyers are still in love with gray, jewel tones (colors resembling gemstone colors like turquoise and sapphire) and dark front door entryways. Monochromatic designs with multiple textures are popular, think a white kitchen comprised of white cabinets, white quartz counter top and shades of white/light back splash for a single colored clean looking room.

As the international tariff battle heats up and wood becomes more expensive, luxury wood looking vinyl flooring will likely continue to be a cost-effective option. Natural or fabricated wood floors have a positive influence on indoor air quality as it does not trap animal dander, hair or dust as carpet does.

Nationally, kitchens are shrinking in size to be more proportional to adjoining rooms (typically this means not as big) and kitchen islands are becoming smaller in size; however, this trend has not made its way to Southwest Washington. New homes in our area have not seen a major change in kitchen sizes and islands still are popular. Fewer dark counter tops are coming online. Quartz continues to grow in popularity and new generations of quartz include anti-bacterial properties, are becoming more affordable, and color options that can be changed and compliment today’s preferred color palettes.

Bathrooms will continue to be refined and sophisticated, simple cabinets with free-standing tubs being the most popular options. Where room allows, door-less showers and heated floors for cold winter mornings are becoming more popular, including the addition of TVs and speakers popping up in some showers. Where has our quiet, reflective time gone in the morning?

In the building exterior categories, more metal and natural wood are popping up on the extreme ends of the spectrum either very contemporary or very traditional Pacific Northwest styling, with limited overlap between the two.

2019 is right around the corner and it is likely these trends will continue with the mix of textures in design, wood interior and exterior.

Andi Costello is a licensed professional Realtor in the state of Washington with Realty One Group Cascadia and has been investing in real estate for eight years. Andi may be reached at andi@couveliving.com or (360) 810-9111.

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