This year homeowners building a new home are concentrating on efficiency and simplicity. As a property manager, you can help  single family home owners upgrade their property to include some of these new features and design elements.

Transitional renters are probably actively looking at trends in new home construction. To help your clients capture the highest rental income and improve their property value, encourage them to renovate for the future.

Here’s a few of the things industry experts are saying about 2015 building trends.

Smaller Spaces with Built-In Efficiency

More consumers are monitoring the financial more closely. Perhaps it is the memory of the economic downturn, or it could be the high levels of student loan debt, but the average size of the new, single-family home is shrinking. The National Associate of Home Builders (NAHB) reports the typical home built today is smaller than 2010 models at about 2,152 square feet of living space.

Smaller homes require less energy for heating and cooling and the baby-boomer generation is more content with more compact living quarters that don’t require as much care and maintenance.

What’s Disappearing in 2015?

Extra bathrooms – the third full bathroom and multiple washrooms on the same floor – are slowly being phased out of new construction designs. Formal dining rooms and mud rooms are also less desirable this year.

Separate cooking quarters and living rooms are being opened up to make one large room that serves as a central hub for socializing, eating and doing homework.

Bringing the Outdoors In

The great rooms – combination kitchen/living room areas – often include new energy-efficient windows and innovative appliance solutions. Think steam ovens that cook more efficiently and high-performance low-E replacement windows that expand viewing areas. Opening up the spaces with the right window choices provides a smooth transition from interior to exterior that creates an environment that includes the outside view as additional living space.

More Green In, Less Green Out

Renters are searching for ways to curb the carbon footprint and reduce expenses at the same time. Dual-flush water closets and low-flow faucets are gaining popularity. Going green can mean spending less green from your hard earned paycheck.

These new trends reflect a shift away from tankless water heaters, solar heating and anything now mandated by regional building codes.

In the Cook’s Corner

The NAHB survey highlights numerous trends in the kitchen including:

  • Double sinks
  • Ample room to gather and chat
  • Breakfast bars for family dining

Warm, inviting décor is fast replacing contemporary styling. You find a more minimalistic approach in many homes. While time- and space-saving features are definitely a bonus, for many, less is more. In other words, out of sight is preferable.

Achieving this look and feel might include simple things, such as adding recessed lighting instead of dangling chandeliers, updating door and cabinet fronts to options that don’t require door pulls and visible hinges.

The Pantry Isn’t Just for Storage Today

Another significant change in new construction involves redefining the traditional pantry.

While some builders are seeing centralized computer stations, wine storage/coolers and hot water dispensers slowly losing their popularity, others are seeing an increase in requests for a multi-function pantry.

Consumers still want and need access to tech tools, but they don’t necessarily want them out in the open. Pantry designs today include features like mini-food prep stations, a small desk and computer connections and small appliance storage in addition to food inventory management. Efficiency and organization are top selling points.

Colors and Textures

Trending colors and textures change frequently. Rental property owners are better served by trying to take a neutral approach in these areas.

Learn more about the NAHB survey here, or reach out to an representative for more tips to help your single-family homeowners save money and boost ROI from their investment properties.