Residential Construction Trends Emerging in California | Murphy Construction

Housing trends come and go; they are shaped by multiple factors that may or may not always be directly related to what prospective homeowners want. The factors that shape residential construction trends are always of a socioeconomic nature, but they are, in turn, influenced by external forces. Virtually all the trends we expected for 2020 have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic, although a few are still worthy of discussion.

A migration from urban areas back to the areas with less density has been taking place.

Remember the exodus from expensive California suburbs during the global financial crisis of 2008? Millions of homeowners moved closer to downtown districts and city centers as they downsized and sought to live closer to their jobs. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has managed to reverse this trend because of the work-from-home revolution. Now that many employees no longer need to live close to their jobs, a migration from urban areas back to the areas with less density has been taking place, and it is expected to continue next year.

Demand for New Residential Constructions in California

In housing markets such as the High Desert, we should expect greater demand for residential construction. The more populated urban centers of Southern California, such as Downtown Los Angeles, are no longer as attractive because of contagion fears. Public health officials have been urging residents of California to stick to their social pods and avoid crowds; for many city residents, this is a call to seek shelter in suburban enclaves.

Gated communities are bound to compete with open subdivisions in California. The McMansion trend that shaped the housing market at the turn of the century is not likely to return. Homebuyers are more interested in modest dwellings with one exception: Large multi-generational homes with separate living areas for elderly relatives or adult children. These residential structures are also called “small homes within larger homes,” and they are also suitable for extended families with multiple breadwinners.

Moving back to the suburbs will also mean more orders for custom and spec homes, but we can also expect demand for modular construction from buyers who want to quickly move into their new homes. Wiring for smart home automation systems is becoming a new standard along with solar panels, reserve water tanks, and emergency power generators. Needless to say, electric car charging stations will also be part of residential construction trends.

Finally, sustainable construction materials and features will continue to enjoy great demand. Skylights, low-flow plumbing, energy-efficient LED lights, and natural air circulation systems where the architectural style creates breezeways are some of the upgrades that home buyers will like to see in their new properties.