February 8, 2008

Kitchens and Baths Continue as Focus of Design Activity in Homes, Even as Residential Markets Remain Very Weak
Accessibility and sustainable features grow in popularity as upper-end products wane with mounting house price affordability concerns
Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, explains that in the Home Design Trends Survey for the fourth quarter of 2007, residential architects report that the number and size of kitchens and bathrooms are still increasing in popularity. However, with the housing market remaining weak and concern growing over affordability of homes, some concessions are being made. Particularly for bathrooms, residential architects report that there is less interest in increasing size and numbers as compared to a year ago. Likewise, architects are reporting declining interest in traditional upper-end features and products in these areas of the home. However, weak business conditions at residential architecture firms provide no evidence that the housing market is poised for a recovery.

The Economy • Solar Power • Air Travel

The Economy: Weak U.S. economy felt around the globe.
Solar Power: A new way to buy solar without buying the panels.
Air Travel: Airport improvement delays expected.

Nine Architects Declare Candidacy for Three Offices
Elections for the Institute’s next first vice president/president-elect, vice presidents, and secretary will be held in May at the AIA 2008 National Convention and Expo in Boston.

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Welcome to the Business Zone
This is the place for our monthly Work-on-the-Boards survey report, quarterly Housing Trends survey report, and biannual Consensus Forecast, all by AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. You’ll also find tips for managing the business side of your practice, as well as the weekly Kiplinger Connection.