Future trends point to greener, smaller homes

New homes are expected to include greener technologies.A survey completed by the National Association of Home Builders shows that many of them feel that smaller, more energy-efficient homes will play a much larger role in the market in the coming years.Builders who responded to the survey predicted that the average size of new homes nationwide in 2015 will be 2,152 square feet. Compared to the size of homes which started construction during the first three quarters of 2010, homes would be 10 percent smaller.Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed also felt that homes would include more technology and energy-efficient features four years from now. Among features that may become popular, according to the report, are whole-house Energy Star ratings, low-E windows, and water-efficient toilets and faucets.Builders also expect a greater willingness by homebuyers to eliminate the formal living room, instead merging it with other parts of the home.The move toward energy efficiency may be even more crucial for those looking at Houston homes. According to estimates by WhiteFence, the average electric bill for people in Houston is among the highest in the country.

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