John Burns Real Estate Consulting Experts State “Big Shifts Ahead” for Washington DC Housing Market at KTGY Leadership Series Event
July 17, 2016
International award-winning firm KTGY Architecture + Planning recently hosted an invite-only event for John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) Principal Mollie Carmichael and Senior Vice President Dan Fulton. Carmichael and Fulton presented findings from JBREC’s survey of over 21,000 home shoppers nationally, and JBREC’s housing market outlook for the Washington, DC region and beyond. Rohit Anand, AIA, managing principal of KTGY’s East Coast office, offered his comments as well. The exclusive presentation and networking event, which was held at KTGY office at 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 600, Tysons, VA 22182, was attended by some of the region’s top builders and developers.
“We are on the edge of a changing economy with big shifts ahead,” said Carmichael. “This event provided a window on who and what to prepare in the residential real estate market over the next several years.”
Fulton added, “We see continued housing growth in the DC market for years to come. However, today’s consumers are demanding new and innovative homes that are different than what was built during the last housing market. The successful builder will start planning now to meet that demand.”
Anand said that for a community to be successful, there must be a strong vision that encompasses land plan, products, marketing and branding. “Most visions today are about capturing lifestyle,” said Anand. “Consumers want to be within walking distance of lifestyle, either it is there or you have to create it.”
The Washington DC market has added more jobs in the last 12 months than in 2004, which bodes well for the housing industry. According to Fulton, strong housing permit growth will continue through 2019 in DC. Single-family permits are expected to exceed the number of housing permits in 2014 and 2015. Multifamily permits are expected to exceed 2015 levels.
But what do consumers want in a new home? According to a recent survey conducted by JBREC, Washington, DC consumers value privacy the most in their outdoors space. “They want a place where they can drink their coffee outdoors in their pajamas,” said Carmichael. Survey results show that 75 percent of the Washington DC responders want privacy between neighbors; 56 percent want a children’s play area; and 51 percent want outdoor space for entertainment and recreation.
The top backyard choice for DC consumers was a patio with open space. This yard provides privacy and entertainment space, according to JBREC survey results. The next backyard choice for DC consumers was a covered outdoor room and a fireplace, which was more important to buyers than a large open lawn. On a national average, a covered outdoor and fireplace were more important than a patio with open space.
Carmichael noted that 86 percent of DC consumers will take a smaller yard, if it is designed right for entertainment; and 64 percent of consumers will take a smaller yard, if it includes an outdoor fireplace. Over half want a great room plus one formal space such as a dining room. Only 30 percent want just a great room.
“We are designing two flex spaces in most products. For example, the living and dining rooms can instead be a multi-gen suite or a home office,” Anand commented. “Well-designed smaller product competes well with larger homes. It is not the size that matters most, but how the house lives.”