BEND, Ore. - The home-building industry has taken a beating nationwide in the last several years. During the housing crisis, resale of existing homes outpaced new home construction sales 24-to-1 across the country.
To entice buyers back to new construction, builders changed their plans.
Central Oregon builders have gone away from building theater rooms, two-story entries and outdoor kitchens, and instead are focusing on sustainable materials and an increase in energy efficiency.
Local builder Dennis Szigeti recognized the changes the new economy demanded and changed his product to match.
"Bedrooms have gotten smaller," he said. "The master suites have kind of gone by the wayside along with the big media rooms and stuff. People are living together, and I think that the trend is, people are kind of spending more time together."
Szigeti tells us buyers today equate big homes with big utility bills and are looking for something different.
"A lot of people have lived in larger homes and they really are done with dealing with that much space," he said. "They want a smaller, more efficient design, and find that they can live more comfortably in a much smaller footprint than they would have thought just a few years ago."
Szigeti says although new homes are built smaller, they are also more functional.
Real estate professionals say buyers are no longer interested in opulence.
Sara LaFavor, principle broker at The Garner Group, said.. "I think people are looking to simplify their lives. The show isn't as important as it used to be, more the way that it lives, the way that it feels, the efficiency of it."
Once down, but not out, local builders have weathered the storm of the changing market and see the change in construction trends as a good thing.
"There's a strong sense of positivity out there," said Szigeti. "That the market is improving, and we are talking to a lot more people, so the general trends are much better. It's a good feeling, and it's long overdue."