Consumer and Home Design TrendsNational Housing Market Outlook

Value Engineering Increases

Mikaela Arroyo photo

Mikaela Arroyo

November 3, 2022

Builders are stripping out features that they believe consumers don’t fully appreciate. Our DesignLensTM database and New Home Trends Institute surveys have identified a significant one: stripping costs out of the house exterior.

Streamlining the exterior is one of the most common cost-reduction strategies we see today and one of the most readily accepted tradeoffs for consumers. Expect these four cost reduction strategies to shift exterior designs in the coming years:

  1. Minimalism

  2. Material mixing with strategic placement

  3. Window standardization

  4. Designing for the street scene


Streamlined interpretations are replacing complex exterior styles amidst rising cost pressure, resulting in designs that are “a degree” less embellished. Not only do our architect partners report it (see below quote), but our homeowner survey results also support it: even historically traditional markets are showing appetite for “soft transitional” exteriors (which take traditional designs and simplify/modernize them).

Strategic Material Placement

Our architect and homeowner survey results indicate continued growth for exterior material mixing. Since the most desired materials for mixing (stone or brick) are high cost, architects are strategically placing more expensive materials to allow them to be used more sparingly.

At King’s Canyon, a Modern Spanish elevation (stucco and red tile of Spanish paired with modern roof lines) includes a restrained application of stone right at the entry. WHA’s color and materials expert, Donna Aldrich, shares that strategic placement on lower levels allows for greater home buyer appreciation and value.

Window Standardization

Supply chain constraints have accelerated the existing trend of window standardization. While not uncommon in entry-level product, this trend is making its way into move-up homes too:

Designing for the street scene

When a consumer assesses a neighborhood’s curb appeal, they are typically taking in the wider street scene, rather than the house in isolation. For this reason, some designers are finding luck with a “every-other-home” or “every-third-home” accent strategy. For example, the simplicity of Plan 2 of Castello by TriPointe Homes (located in Fallbrook, CA) is offset by siding accents in Plan 1 and Plan 3.

To learn more about the tradeoffs consumers are willing to make, please fill out this form or visit our NHTI website

Building Market Intelligence™

Every week, we deliver analysis to over 40,000 subscribers with our Building Market Intelligence™ newsletter. Subscribe to our weekly BMI newsletters to stay current on pressing topics in the housing industry.

About The Author

Mikaela Arroyo photo
Mikaela Arroyo
Vice President, NHTI | Chief of Staff
Mikaela leads trend research for the New Home Trends Institute, conducting monthly surveys of consumers and industry professionals to better understand housing pain points and desires. As Chief of Staff to the CEO, Mikaela strategizes and supports the daily operations of the company, focusing on business initiatives.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our services or if you would like to speak to one of our experts about we can help your business, please contact Client Relations at

Products and Services Mentioned

green check icon

New Home Trends Institute

The New Home Trends Institute pairs design inspiration with exclusive insights into the “why” behind consumers’ housing choices. Gain exclusive insight into housing preferences and pain points through our monthly survey insights reports, webinars, and proprietary surveys of builders, architects, designers, and other industry professionals.
green check icon

Building Products Package

Our research subscription provides unparalleled expertise and a unique specialized perspective on new construction and remodeling, backed with exceptional data, for business planning and investor relation support.
green check icon

Building Products Consulting

Our building products team is comprised of industry experts with diverse sector and functional experience. We partner across organizations to provide custom consulting reports to aid organic and inorganic investment decisions, strategic planning, and marketing.

Latest Insights

Building Success: Doug Bauer and the Growth of Tri Pointe Homes
Dear Consultant: How will the declining birth rate impact the move-up housing segment?
Golden State Resilience: Four Considerations for California’s Housing Market