The jewel-box home—small, but loaded with amenities and costly finishes—is luring more home buyers. An analysis by Home Innovation Research Labs, a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders, found that the number of new-construction luxury homes at 3,000 square feet or less has increased nearly 20% since 2013—with a corresponding decline in larger-size, high-price homes.
Changing demographics might be driving the trend. More than half of all households now consist of single people or couples, U.S. Census Bureau data shows—with traditional nuclear families accounting for just 20%.
“Empty-nesters want to downsize, but they want luxury homes not starter homes—luxury kitchens, marble surfaces, all the latest and greatest,” said Tim Costello, CEO of Builder Homesite, a consortium whose New Home Source website—an online clearing house for new-construction homes—tracks home buyers’ preferences.
Economists say aging baby boomers are the biggest culprits because many are staying healthier later in life and choosing not to downsize. Some look around at the lack of smaller, less expensive homes and are loath to get into bidding wars with their children’s generation to get one.
Homeowners there are staying more than three years longer than they did in 2010. The inventory of homes for sale in Seattle has declined more than 50% over the last nine years, while home prices have risen more than 80%, according to Redfin.
Americans are staying in their homes much longer than before, creating a logjam of housing inventory off the market that helps explain why home sales have been sputtering.
Homeowners nationwide are remaining in their homes typically 13 years, five years longer than they did in 2010, according to a new analysis by real-estate brokerage Redfin. When owners don’t trade up to a larger home for a growing family or downsize when children leave, it plugs up the market for buyers coming behind them.
Leaving nothing to chance, the Cavners are making a number of modifications they might never need. For instance, neither uses a wheelchair, but contractors are making all doorways 3 feet wide for accessibility throughout — just in case. The master bath roll-in shower, flat and rimless, will provide room to maneuver and the master bath vanity is also at wheelchair-accessible height. Kitchen drawers, rather than cabinets, will allow easy access in a wheelchair. The Cavners are closely watching details of the renovation, but it wasn’t a hard decision.
AUSTIN, Texas — Chris and Dennis Cavner, in their early 70s, are preparing to move less than two blocks away into a 2,720-square-foot, ranch-style house they bought this year. But first a renovation is underway, taking the 45-year-old property all the way back to its studs. When the work is completed, these baby boomers are confident the move will land them in their forever home.
“We wanted to find a house that we could live in literally for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We were looking specifically for a one-story house — and one that had a flat lot, to age in place.”
From a Wall Street Journal article by Katherine Clark:
“If you look back in the day to the ’70s and ’80s, there were these guys…raised with this mythology of the West,” said Ken Mirr, a local ranch broker. “It was attachment to something Hollywood produced. Their children aren’t necessarily always as interested in operating the properties. Sometimes the kids just see cows and think ‘What should I do with this?’”
Operating costs vary dramatically, depending on how much infrastructure ranchers have on their land and the level of agricultural activity but can often be millions a year.
Decades ago, a generation of America’s wealthiest, raised on television shows like “Howdy Doody” and “The Lone Ranger,” headed west with dreams of owning some of the country’s most prestigious ranches. Now, as those John Wayne- loving baby boomers age out of the lifestyle or die, they or their children are looking to sell those trophy properties.
From an Entrepreneur.com online article by Pooja Singh:
Critics say prefab structures are substandard, ugly and unreliable. Antonio disagrees. “I wanted to prove that by partnering with great artists and designers, we can create a new line of prefab structures we can all be proud of.”
The increasing demand for such homes is also a proof. “People want homes fast and beautiful but cost efficient. When we started out, we’ve always strived to address the common pain points of most consumers, which are speed, cost and aesthetics. And by applying advanced robotics to our production systems, we are able to speed up the process, and bring down the overall cost of home construction,” says Anotnio.
True to his start-up’s name, Revolution Precrafted, Robbie Antonio believes he’s starting a revolution with his property business. Established in December 2015, Revolution Precrafted marries Antonio’s dream to fuse his experience in constructing exclusive buildings with his passion for contemporary art. Result: highly customisable prefabricated properties such as modular homes, condominiums, pavilions, pop-up retail stores, and fitness centres.
Thomas James recently joined the recently launched Brilliant Builders program, a group of roughly two dozen large developers and homebuilders across the country installing smart home control systems from the San Mateo, California-based startup.
At a time when voice-control systems such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home may dominate smart home discourse, the Brilliant control panel, a sort of universal remote for smart home devices that’s about as large as a typical light switch and can work with most existing products and networks, seeks to upend the market by arriving, pre-installed, with new homes. Diehl sees the controller as a perfect way to communicate a home’s high-tech features to potential buyers.