A growing number of coastal homes have begun to come to the fore as designers shift from the traditional architectural styles of the ’80s to the new wave of design.
Home Study Design and Restoration, a new project led by the Smithsonian Institute, is the latest to highlight the growing trend.
The first-ever study, called Coastal Home Design Trends, surveyed over 1,400 homes across the country to understand how the styles of home design are changing and where coastal homes are being created.
The study found that homeowners of all ages and incomes are creating more homes in more places, including new cities like San Francisco and Miami.
“I think what is really interesting about this project is that it is a really broad, inclusive project,” said Michael P. Wiedman, senior curator for the exhibition.
“We’re not just talking about one specific style or a single city.
We are talking about the entire country, not just coastal communities.”
The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and is supported by the Center for Coastal and Maritime Studies, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Geographic Society.
Wiedman said the study was inspired by his own experiences as a coastal resident in the 1980s.
He says the findings show that people are realizing coastal homes need to be made more accessible to all, not only those who are wealthy and connected.
“They are also not only the home of people who want to stay home and spend time, but they are also the home that people who don’t have a lot of money can afford to live in,” he said.
“If you look at the median income in the U.S., the median home price in the United States is $150,000.
So it’s not just a luxury or a high-end home.
It’s a really great place to live.”
Wiedeman said there are two main reasons people are moving to the coastal regions.
The number of new homes being built is skyrocketing, and many of those new homes are condos, which are more expensive than a traditional home.
Wiedma said condos are also becoming more popular because they offer the option to buy more than one home.
“So the trend is people are looking for a more affordable option, and the more affordable they are, the more they are going to be able to afford to buy,” he explained.
“We see the rise in condo development and the increase in single-family homes as the trend continues.”
Wiesman said condos were also the primary mode of travel for coastal residents in the 1990s.
He said in the years since the recession, the number of homes being constructed has slowed significantly, and he said it is likely that condos will continue to be the primary way to commute to and from coastal cities.
The other major change in the coastal home market is that the average home size has increased by nearly 1.5 inches, or 2.5 centimeters, over the last decade.
Wiesman explained that this trend is being driven by a combination of people’s desire to live closer to work and the rising cost of living.
While it is too soon to know how long it will take for the coastal homes to take off, the trend seems to be going in the right direction, said Piers N. Stolper, a senior curator at the Smithsonian.
“There is more demand for these types of homes,” he told CNN.
As more homes are created in coastal communities, they are creating a larger number of jobs.
Wiesma said many of the jobs created in the new homes will be part of a more diversified economy.
“The whole idea of coastal communities is to attract people from other parts of the country, but the jobs are more diverse,” he added.
With more jobs, more people will be able afford to have more of a lifestyle, and that lifestyle will create more opportunities for people to get a better education and create jobs that pay well.
In a survey of about 100 coastal residents, the majority of those surveyed said they were more likely to be willing to work part-time or take a job for an extended period of time.
Stolper said there is also a shift toward the use of renewable energy in coastal cities and counties, which could help offset the impact of the recession.
Despite all of these trends, he said the changes will take a long time to take hold.
For now, he recommends that homeowners and renters start thinking about the challenges they are facing now, and how they can be more resilient in the future.
“You can’t just assume the past is the same,” he advised.
“If you do, you are going into the future with a lot less confidence and you will have a hard time making the investments that are necessary to build a future.”