Let’s talk about some survey results that were just released by the American Institute of Architects or the AIA. They do this survey every quarter, and this one had some interesting things come out of it.
First, all the architects surveyed indicated a six percent increase quarter over quarter in their backlogs or bookings of business. Six percent from one quarter to the next is equivalent to a 24 percent increase on an annual basis. Clearly, this is part of the home improvement trend that the pandemic kicked off almost immediately since last April.
There’s also a very interesting piece to this one: in the residential sector, there’s been a massive increase in request for multi-generational housing features. Notice this is not multi-family but multi-generational. We’ve got grandparents living with us, an elderly mom, an elderly dad, an aunt, or maybe it’s Mom and Dad and they’re having their kids and their grandkids live with them. Anyway, features of building out for that in the planning stages, so homes built for multiple generations. It’s fascinating to us! We could read into what this says about the assisted living industry. The pandemic hit hard, and it really did not speak well of a lot of the nursing homes. Even with the nursing homes that didn’t have problems of spreading of the virus, people can’t go see their family members. Their moms and dads are in these facilities, and they cannot be visited.
A few other points in the survey: fire resistant materials, durability, and low maintenance construction materials stayed very high on the demand. There’s still a huge interest in high durability materials and high tech materials being used in construction. It makes good longterm sense, even though it may be a lot more expensive up front.
We found this interesting! Harvard Grace does do commercial real estate consulting, and if we can help you, just let us know.