Shifts in residential typologies

How has residential typology changed and what are the impacts?

For one, we aren’t adding new single-family housing stock. This halt is unprecedented in US history until now. Secondly, to meet the demand for more housing stock with greater density, modern cosmopolitan cities like Seattle are investing in more town-homes and condominiums. This changes the real estate market and our social norms, but most importantly affects our quality of life and the urban landscape.

Developers produce housing stock by where they predict a need. Forecasting what people will want in their home mixed with understanding pro formas for return on investments and where the future demand is, the real estate market concocts their formula for success. In a perfect world, this means giving people what they want and making money doing it. Often the remaining question is: does the real estate market dictate supply and create a demand by what works with their investment or do the people and their density fluctuations create the greater need?

Either way you slice it, single-family homes are the quintessential definition of ‘home’ for most people who grew up in the United States. Most people have lived in a single-family home at some point in their life. There is something deeply innate about owning the land underneath you and when we think of home many people associate it with a yard, a front and back door and a centralized living/kitchen arrangement with private bedrooms and bath. The expectations of this space include privacy, safety and relaxation. Given the current trend, If we are now building less of the ‘american dream’ house as we see it and more of the urban dweller counterparts like the town-home or row-home, how will our ideas of home be newly altered?

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