Canadian Housing Design Trends

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited

The features that home buyers look for reflect the changing realities of the world we live in.  For example, as the average age of the population rises, so does the demand for one storey homes.  With environmental issues reaching our collective consciousness, so does the demand for "green" features increase.

I spent some time this morning reading various reports and studies to find out the trends home builders and renovators might want to pay particular attention to.  What I found was not surprising at all.  Buyers are placing increased importance on:

 Open concept floor plans
 One level living
 Main floor master bedrooms
 Universal design
 Energy Efficiency

Recently, the Ontario Association of Home Builders held their meetings here in Collingwood and some of the newer trends they identified were:
 - McMansions are being traded for better quality homes
 - People want to age-in-place and are looking for homes that are easily adapted for accessibility
 - People are expanding their living into the outdoors with a greater demand for 3-season living spaces such as covered patios and  porches, sunrooms

They also specifically noted that buyers are demanding greater energy efficiency in their homes and are willing to pay for it to a certain point.  Some of the features they are looking at include:

*  Homes that are pre-wired to be solar ready
*  New products and building techniques that will address the fact that homes built under the new building code in 2012 will be more air tight
*  Kill switches to easily turn off appliances using phantom energy
*  Home automation systems for multi-media
*  A movement away from stucco to things like stone and hardiboard
*  Kitchens with walk-in pantries, solid surface countertops, specific task lighting and energy efficient appliances.

If you are buying a new home, it's a good idea to incorporate as many of these elements as possible because they are likely to become the norm when you one day face resale of your property.  For people renovating their homes, it's also a good idea to consider these trends both for resale and for efficient and healthy home operation.  Remember, the cost of operating your home (heat, hydro, water) are the second  price tag of ownership.

Comments (4)

Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I clicked on your blog thinking I was going to see some really cool photos  :(

Mar 05, 2010 02:48 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


Excellent post! Things to definitely consider when thinking of having a new home built.


Mar 05, 2010 03:14 AM
Marg Scheben
RE/MAX four seasons realty limited - Collingwood, ON
Edey - Collingwood, Ontario

Hi Ralph - It's hard to find suitable photo's but I've added a couple just for you.

Jo - thanks.  With the new building code in 2006 and then in 2012, new homes built in 2012 will be 35% more efficient than homes built pre-2006.  I think consumers will become very aware of this.

Mar 05, 2010 03:44 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Marrg - It will be interesting to watch what happens to older home prices as buyers become more green conscious.

Mar 05, 2010 08:39 AM