real estate

What buyers demand in new homes

New home design trends
Design trends for new homes © Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock.com

Most homebuyers buy an existing home that is, speaking frankly, used. But some lucky home-shoppers wind up with a brand-new, just-built and never-before-occupied residence.

Indeed, new-home construction and sales are expected to trend upward in 2014, according to a forecast by the National Association of Realtors. The group expects builders to start 1.13 million new homes and sell 508,000 newly built residences during the year. Those figures would be up from approximately 917,000 new homes started and 429,000 new homes sold in 2013.

New homes offer a number of advantages, says Michelle Lohr, president of GnM Lohr Homes, a custom builder in Austin, Texas. Chief among them is much greater leeway in architecture style, building design and open floor plan layout.

Design preferences change over time, so builders introduce new techniques, building products and finishes and fixtures every year to respond to the latest trends. Here's a look at what's hot in new homes for 2014.

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