AIA Home Design Trends Survey Results Show Continued Strength at Residential Firms

Recent gains in demand for infill development and other factors associated with community accessibility appear to be moderating. Showing signs of market saturation, demand for walkable neighborhoods, multi-generational housing and access to public transportation remain very strong, but growth has leveled off, according to the findings from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the third quarter of 2017, which focuses on community and neighborhood design.

AIA Home Design Trends Survey highlights

Community design elements 2017 2016
Infill development 59% 68%
Mixed-use facilities 59% 56%
Increase in tear-downs 56% 68%
Higher density development 54% 53%
Multi-generational housing 54% 52%
Access to public transportation 53% 55%
More walkable neighborhoods 46% 49%
More recreational opportunities 42% 50%

(% respond. report. popularity of feature “increasing” minus % report. “decreasing”; Q3)

All of the data from this survey can be access in this infographic.  View this press release online here:

“Intense development pressure on urban neighborhoods seems to be tapering as more development swings back to suburban and exurban locations,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Though homeowners still desire access to community amenities, these results reflect a slowing of migration toward more dense neighborhoods.”

Popular Home Exteriors Features 2017 2016
Low maintenance exterior materials 59% 68%
Windows (number and size) 41% 47%
Contemporary design 40% 43%
Front/side porches 30% 40%
Smaller / custom design 29% 35%
Metal finishes 23% 36%
Fire resistant exterior material 23% 26%
Exterior accent lighting 27% 18%
Simpler exterior detailing 19% 22%
Single story homes 16% 25%

(% respond. report. popularity of feature “increasing” minus % report. “decreasing”; Q3)


“Homeowner priorities remain consistent, with low maintenance building materials topping the home exterior features list,” Baker added.


Housing market business conditions


AIA Home Design Survey Index for Q3 2017 (any score above 50 is positive)


  • Billings: 58
  • Inquiries for new projects: 59
  • Regional averages: Midwest (60.0), South (59.4), Northeast (56.9), West (56.1)


Baker noted, “Business conditions at residential architecture firms remain strong across all regions, with improvements to existing homes continuing to top the list for specific residential sectors.”


Specific construction segments 2017 2016
Additions / alterations 60% 57%
Kitchen and bath remodeling 52% 49%
Move-up home market 20% 22%
Townhouse / condo market 16% 11%
Custom / luxury home market 14% 20%
First-time buyer / affordable home market -2% -1%
Second / vacation home -16% -6%

(% respond. report. popularity of feature “increasing” minus % report. “decreasing”; Q3)

About the AIA Home Design Trends Survey

The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of over 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. Residential architects are design leaders in shaping how homes function, look, and integrate into communities and this survey helps to identify emerging trends in the housing marketplace. Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis. Future surveys will focus on kitchen and bath trends (March 2018), overall home layout and use (June 2018), and specialty rooms and systems (September 2018).


About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

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