Brick by Brick

by Chicago Agent

How much do you know about new construction? Do you know if housing starts in Illinois have increased or decreased since last year? What building materials are most popular, or are gaining popularity? In the cover story for this issue, I wanted to show where developer, builder and interior trends were going, and share statistics for the Chicagoland new construction industry that agents might not have known – and turns out, there are a lot of interesting trends and statistics to report on.

For instance, something I found interesting – but not really surprising – is how certain rooms and features within homes are becoming extinct, so to speak. The living room might as well be obsolete at this point, according to surveys from the National Association of Home Builders. Homebuyers no longer see the need for dual living spaces (do people actually use both their family room and living room? Growing up, I remember the family room dominated everyone’s attention and the living room was pretty useless), and they also don’t see a need for Jacuzzi bathtubs in master bathrooms or multiple shower heads. Great rooms – an open living space that combines the family room, living room and even kitchen – have become the favorite.

Green building materials are also being used more and more because energy-efficiency is of great importance to homeowners today. Kitchen trends show wall ovens, steam ovens and dishwashers that are Energy Star-certified being installed in new developments more and more. There are even countertops out there made out of sturdy, recycled paper. Yes, paper!

Check out our cover story to see what else you might not have known about new construction – you might learn a few surprising statistics yourself!

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