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How Confidence in the Housing Market is Affecting New Construction Home Features

by Gina Watters

“Now is the time to buy” isn’t just another catchy little tune created for the sake of selling homes.  In 2011, the housing market started bouncing back from the economic downturn of 2008 and the rapid-fire increases in home buying trends allowed for decreasing inventory and increasing prices to jumpstart every prospective homeowner’s decision to buy a home while options were still available.  In 2016, reports from Yahoo Finance, Forbes, and other reliable analysts are saying the same thing: Market confidence is high, mortgage rates are low, wage gains are favorable, unemployment rates are decreasing, and rental rates keep skyrocketing, making the decision to buy a home as easy as ever.

Sean Becketti, Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, was quoted on Yahoo Finance as saying: “…The low rates continue to be good news for the housing market, as existing home sales rose 1.8 percent to a 5.53 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in the month of May -- the highest level since February 2007."

Specific to our area, in 2015 Local Market Monitor, a national research company, projected that home values in the Naples-Marco Island market would rise 47 percent in the next three years, which would be faster than anywhere else in the state, and the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota area was projected to experience a 23 percent increase in home values over the next three years.

The optimistic overview of home values and market trends are making some homeowners think about how they spend their money.  Instead of just stopping at a standard new construction home, confident homeowners are adding all of the luxury home features that were estranged to them when the housing market bubble burst.  As a Southwest Florida luxury home builder, London Bay Homes has experienced the emerging trend of luxury features in the many custom homes built for clients in the past couple of years and have responded by including some of these features in our estate homes for sale throughout Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

Rooms designed with a special function in mind, like a loft to read and relax, are the most requested luxury option in any new construction home.

Rooms designed with a special function in mind are the most requested luxury option in any new construction home.  Bonus rooms, wine rooms, lofts, home offices, mud rooms, and media/home theatre rooms are hot commodities and add a level of convenience that homeowners crave in their fast-paced lives.  Outdoor living areas are also key when adding extra square footage and increasing your home’s value, especially in Florida where you can spend many of your days outside enjoying our beautiful weather year-round.  In our future Catalina model home in Mediterra, our in-house architects and designers chose to embrace the trend of a private garden and garden shower just outside sliding glass doors in the master suite to further elevate the level of luxury in our estate home.

Another continued trend in luxury home features are in-law suites.  With the increase in multi-generational homes spanning the many home price ranges, adding an entire wing to accommodate aging parents is slowly increasing with each year.  Even casitas located at the rear of your home are an option when it comes to sharing your space with aging loved ones or children that just can’t seem to move out of your home. Home automation also facilitates the care of loved ones and allows your home to function more efficiently.  Anything from wireless telecommunications and data systems, automated lighting, smart home systems, and long-range electrical controls are an added bonus for your lifestyle.  Some of our model homes include these features and many more that add a level of convenience.  For example, some of our luxury homes are equipped with a Wolf steam convection oven that is so versatile it can cook three perfect dishes at once and is designed to disappear into the cabinetry for a cleaner look.  One of our model homes featured a Kohler digitally controlled super shower system with a programmable interface that set the rain-head and body jets to individual steam and temperature settings. A Numi toilet added to the experience, offering personalized settings, which include wireless Bluetooth music sync capabilities, heated seat and foot warming options, and ambient color lighting alternatives.

More than 6 million homes are expected to sell in 2016, marking the most homes sold annually in more than 10 years, and the demand is only making home prices escalate.  With inventory levels continually decreasing, a new construction home is the ideal way to find a home that speaks to your tastes and personality, while including all of the luxury options you crave.  As Forbes says, “the U.S. housing market will remain alive and kicking in 2016” so make sure you are part of the action before the opportunities disappear.

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