abundant as optimism this week at the IBS

Information was as abundant as optimism this week at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, where more than 75,000 home builders and suppliers gathered to discuss topics ranging from new building products to buyers’ preferences.

Many economists predict that 2014 will build upon the home-market gains from last year, bringing big increases in the number of homes built and of new homes sold. That bullish outlook contributed to rising attendance at the conference and a resurgence of exhibitors offering luxury and discretionary items.

Meanwhile, builders boned up on strategies to keep the momentum going, such as learning that buyers covet low-emissive windows and don’t much care for outdoor kitchens. Here’s a look at a few pearls offered up at this week’s conference.

1) Walk-In Closets In, Laminate Countertops Out: Buyers this year really like big closets attached to their master bedrooms. Outdoor fireplaces? Not so much.

2) New Homes Are Still Growing: Americans, when they can afford it, nearly always opt for a larger house. Consider that the average size of a newly built home in the U.S. has increased for five consecutive years to 2,679 square feet.

3) Boomers Not Done Yet: The Baby Boomers aren’t ceding the home market to Generations Y and Z yet.


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