Advertisements

Tag Archives: American Institute of architects

Housing still hoping to gain momentum

Michael J. Berens

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Share this article
Housing still hoping to gain momentum

Slow but steady is the current prognosis for the housing industry. Housing starts are up for the first seven months of the year, but month-to-month gains have remained flat for the past four months. Meanwhile, requests for single-family permits have declined, which could mean fewer new starts in the months ahead.

Nonetheless, builders and housing experts expect the industry will continue to experience modest growth in the second half of the year.

Overall, housing showed signs of improvement in July. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that housing starts (in number of units) rose 2.1 percent, compared to June, reaching their highest reading since February. Most of the gain was in the multifamily sector, which was up 5 percent. New single-family starts stayed positive but flat, nudging up only 0.5 percent. Applications for new permits slipped slightly (0.1 percent) but were 0.9 percent above a year ago.

Similarly, Dodge reports residential construction (in dollars) increased 3 percent in July over June. Again, the strongest gains were in multifamily, which jumped 9 percent, while single-family construction ticked up just 1 percent. Multifamily also was the strongest performer on the Architecture Billings Index for July, says the American Institute of Architects.

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Leading Market Index for the second quarter of 2016, average economic and housing activity nationwide is now at 97 percent of “normal,” with 91 percent of markets showing year-over-year improvements. For housing, that means single-family permits and housing prices are nearly at 2000-2003 levels.

However, the boost has come mainly from rising housing prices. Permits as yet have rebounded only to 50 percent of “normal” activity. Realtor magazine relates sales of existing homes “heated up” in July, fueled by an increase in inventory (due to rising housing prices) and historically low mortgage rates.

More millennials in the 25- to 34-year-old age range were actively looking to purchase a home, as well. Qualifying for a mortgage and a shortage of affordable properties continue to be hurdles for many would-be first-time homebuyers, though. That, in turn, is driving the need for rental housing, which is pushing the demand for multifamily units.

Despite the rather mixed bag of favorable and concerning indicators, the industry outlook remains positive. Builder confidence, as measured by the NAHB’s Housing Market Index, was up two points in August, buoyed by improving employment and economic news. Builders were slightly more optimistic (up one point) about sales expectations for the next six months.

A joint forecast by economists from the Associated Builders and Contractors, AIA and NAHB predicts the industry will end the year maintaining its current level of a 10-plus percent increase over last year, and will continue to see gradual, modest growth in 2017.

In its National Residential Economic Report for the second quarter of 2016, MetroStudy forecasts the total number of residential permits will exceed that of 2015 by year’s end. For the longer term, it foresees an overall healthy housing market during the next five years, with valuations increasing and demand outpacing supply.

Unless some change occurs either in household income or home prices, affordability will remain on a drag on the industry’s efforts to accelerate growth.

Share this article

About the Author

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens is a freelance researcher and writer with more than 30 years of experience in association communication and management. He can be reached at mjberensresearch@gmail.com.

Continue reading Housing still hoping to gain momentum

Advertisements

WELCOME ASID MEMBERS! Are you ready to explore the world’s architecture?

In collaboration with Architectural Adventures, the official travel program of the American Institute of Architects, ASID is offering expert-led, small-group architectural tours providing travelers with distinctive and exclusive opportunities to engage with the past, present, and future of building and design in the world’s great sites and cities.

 

Continue reading WELCOME ASID MEMBERS! Are you ready to explore the world’s architecture?

Architecture Billings Slow Yet End 2018 with Growing Demand

Ongoing tariff situation, unstable business conditions, and the partial government shutdown could lead to further softening

Jan 28, 2019

Architecture firm billings growth softened in December but remained positive for the fifteenth consecutive month, according to a recent report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for December was 50.4 compared to 54.7 in November.  Despite the positive billings, a softening in growth was seen across several regions and sectors, as well as in project inquiries and design contracts.

“Given the concerns over the ongoing tariff situation, it is not surprising to see a bit of a slowdown in progress on current projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Growing anxiety over unstable business conditions and the partial shutdown of the government may lead to further softening in the coming months.”

Key ABI highlights for December include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (56.3), Northeast (51.6), South (49.4), West (49.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (53.1), commercial/industrial (51.2), mixed practice (50.2), multi-family residential (49.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 55.6
  • Design contracts index: 52.1

Regional and sector categories above are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts, and inquiries are monthly numbers.

For more information, visit www.aia.org.

TAGS: DESIGN

Continue reading Architecture Billings Slow Yet End 2018 with Growing Demand

Architecture firm billings continue to slow, but remain positive in October

Continue reading Architecture firm billings continue to slow, but remain positive in October

Demand for major remodels remains strong

As more long-term homeowners make the decision to stick with the home they have, they are undertaking larger-scale remodeling projects, such as complete room renovations or additions.

Due to the complexity of these changes, more homeowners are hiring professionals to assist with or do the entire project for them. While that’s great for business, it is pushing out wait times as project backlogs begin to pile up.

Continue reading Demand for major remodels remains strong

Richard Meier Revisits the House That Launched His Career—50 Years Later

Five decades after completing the iconic Smith House in Connecticut, the starchitect talks with AD about designing buildings that last

Continue reading Richard Meier Revisits the House That Launched His Career—50 Years Later

HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARD FOR APPLE UPPER EAST SIDE MANHATTAN

The Apple Store, Upper East Side, New York City, has received a Special Commendation in the Historic Preservation category from the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed retail store, located at Madison Avenue and 74th Street, is an adaptive reuse of a 1922 U.S. Mortgage & Trust building.

Restoration

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and its consultant team collaborated to restore the building’s general ambiance. The project included exterior restoration that required significant repair to original windows, exterior paint, stone, and grout. Interior finishes, such as the marble entry, plaster coffered ceilings, and chandeliers, were reconstructed with the help of historic photographs and blueprints.

Sustainable Economic Growth

Recognising the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of historic buildings and landscapes. These are the goals of The Preservation League of New York State, which this year selected the Apple Store in Upper East Side, designed by California-based architecture practice Bohlin Cywinski Jackson as the recipient of its award, along with the United Nations Campus Headquarters Glazed Façades Replacement project by Heintges & Associates.

Project: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, www.bcj.com
Location: Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York, USA
Year: 2016
Images: © Peter Aaron, courtesy of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Award: Preservation Award 2016, The Preservation League of New York State

For More Information About This Blog, Click Here!

The right approach to design for aging in place

Building and remodeling projects to make homes more aging-friendly have boomed in recent years. And no wonder. The 74-plus million members of the baby boom generation — whose youngest members will turn 55 in two years and oldest members are already in their 70s — make up the largest portion of the nation’s homeowners and the second-largest group of homebuyers.

However, surprising as it may seem, these senior homeowners are undertaking changes to their homes not because they anticipate getting older, but because they foresee a time when their lives will change.

A survey conducted last spring by the National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Group found 80 percent of remodeling companies were doing aging-in-place projects, up from 68 percent in 2013. Interviewing local remodelers about the survey, the Detroit Free Press cited the example of one firm that had seen its business from aging-in-place projects increase to 30 to 40 percent of total revenue from just 15 to 20 percent five years ago.

In its second-quarter 2017 Home Design Trends Survey, the American Institute of Architects reported that aging-friendly and multigenerational living modifications were among the most commonly requested special features in residential projects. The NAHB’s most recent 55+ Housing Market Index shows builder confidence remaining positive and optimistic for the 14th quarter in a row.

Housing, building and senior organizations have been expecting the demographic inevitability of the aging of the baby boom generation for the past several decades. With multiple surveys showing that the vast majority of boomers have long planned to remain in their homes in their later years, much has been written about the benefits of modifying the home for aging-in-place.

In anticipation of the “silver tsunami,” professional associations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the American Society of Interior Designers established efforts early on to educated their members on the changes that occur with aging and how to design environments to make homes supportive, comfortable and safe for older occupants.

Although it took them some time to warm up to the idea, boomers are now coming round to appreciate the benefits of making some modifications, renovations and upgrades to their homes in response to present and future needs. But not so much, as one might expect, because they have come to accept that they are aging. Rather, it is because their lives are changing, and they want homes that will accommodate those changes.

Findings from this year’s Home Advisor Aging in Place report provide insights that should prove valuable to interior designers and kitchen and bath specialists. One of the difficulties designers have had with selling aging-in-place modifications to homeowners has been the stigma around aging.

Whatever their age, people in general don’t think of themselves as elderly, and they don’t want to think about getting “old,” by which they usually mean infirm or incapacitated. However, they do recognize that changes are occurring in their lives, whether that means no longer having children at home, experiencing some health or mobility issues, entering retirement or observing the needs of caring for an aging parent or relation.

“So, how do homeowners prepare for aging in place when they can’t admit that they’re aging in the first place?” asks the report’s author Marianne Cusato, adjunct associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.

“They perform regular maintenance and complete projects to keep their homes in good working order, for starters. And that sets them up to layer on the aging-related projects as their aging-specific needs are revealed.”

The report identifies a seven-phase planning period, which begins typically around age 55 and may continue to up to age 75 and beyond. As homeowners’ physical needs and lifestyles change over time, they move up to the period to add more extensive age-friendly modifications.

The changes usually begin by addressing low-cost, ease-of-use and ease-of-maintenance issues, and gradually move to renovations and upgrades made to improve functionality, safety and mobility. A major motivator for making changes is the experience of watching a loved one struggle to get around their home as they age.

For designers, the big takeaway from the report is that they don’t have to talk to these clients about aging. They just have to know what kinds of modifications and improvements to offer them that will suit the changes in their lives they want to address. It also indicates that there is substantial opportunity to attract clients early on by assisting them with smaller projects and then continuing to help them as their needs change over time.

For more information about this blog, Click Here!

%d bloggers like this: