What Homes Will Look Like in 2015

July 29, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. passing (adj.) [pas-ing, pah-sing] – happening for only a short period of time
Example:  Fancy houses may only be a passing trend and may not be popular in the future.

2. be here to stay (idiom) [bee heer too, tuh stey] –  to be permanent
Example: House features that are environment-friendly are here to stay.

3. green (adj.) [green] – describes something that saves energy and lessens harm to the environment
Example: The city’s pollution problems convinced many people to build green homes.

4. flow (n.) [floh] – the way in which something moves around a space
Example:  Large furniture in the living room can stop the flow of people.

5. watch out  (phrasal v.) [woch out] –  to pay close attention (to something)
Example: Home buyers are watching out for a price drop in luxury houses.

Read the text below.

In the near future, houses in the US are expected to get much smaller, as more people become conscious of both budget and the environment.

A study by the US National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that builders believe new houses in 2015 for single families will have an average area of 2,150 square feet (199.7 square meters).

Houses built in 2007 measured up to 2,521 square feet (234.2 square meters). Currently, houses measure about 2,400 square feet (223 square meters). 

While the weak economy may be partly to blame for the decrease in home sizes, many say small homes are not just a passing trend. Builders will likely continue to make smaller homes even if the economy recovers.  

Smaller homes are here to stay because not only do they cost less, smaller homes also challenge builders to be more creative. Small space lets builders design greener homes that save on electricity and create better heat and air flow.

Additionally, most new homes will likely be designed for older people aged 55 and above who are predicted to buy most of the houses in the future. These people would likely have more money, but may not have children living with them anymore.

One feature to watch out for in future homes would be the “great room,” one large room that combines the living room, dining room and part of the kitchen, to cut down space. About 52% of builders surveyed in the NAHB study predicted that great rooms will become popular, while 30% of builders even said there  may not be living rooms in future homes anymore.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A 

·         What do you think about the living spaces in your area? Do you wish they could be smaller or bigger? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you think that people should continue to build smaller and greener houses in the future? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think about the designs of houses or buildings where you live? Do you think the designs can be better?
·         What is your idea of a perfect home? Describe your dream home.

July 29, 2012