Outdoor Living Trends by sofiaie


									Outdoor Living White Paper Update

            March 2009
                        K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

The Kleber & Associates’ (K&A) Outdoor Living brief analyzes the overall popularity of the
Outdoor Living phenomena in residential environments from August 2005 to the first
quarter of 2009. To achieve this review, comparative information was evaluated stemming
from original research (survey and focus groups) conducted by K&A during a nine-month
period from August 2005 to May 2006 and followed up with extensive secondary research
compiled in the first quarter of 2009.

This white paper highlights homeowners’ motivating factors employed in their desire for
Outdoor Living spaces, prominent product features and design trends, primary
demographics and subsequent opportunities for housing professionals.

Outdoor Living Spaces Maintain Popularity
In 2006, the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey identified
a noticeable rise in consumer attractiveness to a formal Outdoor Living space. And despite
the current struggling housing and remodeling markets, the latest research from the AIA
Home Design Trends Survey (third quarter of 2008) noted that front and side porches are
the one feature mentioned by residential architects that maintain their fervent popularity,
further validating the staying power of the Outdoor Living movement.

                         K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

Survey research from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), as reported by
Custom Builder, also found that 65 percent of luxury homebuyers will invest in outdoor
features in their homes. Further evidence includes findings from Harvard’s Joint Center for
Housing Studies’ “The Remodeling Market Transition Report,” which concluded that 19
percent of recent buyers (occupied their homes for less than two years) and 13 percent of
long-term owners (occupied their homes for more than 20 years) have devoted their home
improvement dollars to property improvements and outside attachments.

Additionally, the percentage of homeowners who have a finished outdoor room has risen
from 35 percent in 2005 to 42 percent in March 2008 according to the latest survey
conducted by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Outdoor Living rooms
have become increasingly integrated into daily life with 64 percent of homeowners reporting
more time spent in their Outdoor Living areas than they spent a few years ago.

Outdoor grilling is also at an all-time high, according to PERC. Twenty-five percent of
surveyed homeowners stated that they are now cooking on the grill more than in the past.
Fifty-four percent said that they cook on their outdoor grill year round while 43 percent now
regularly use their outdoor grill during the week.

Why Outdoor Living Spaces?
In-depth interviews and focus groups conducted by K&A helped us concentrate on the
priorities of homeowner motivations considered in their Outdoor Living space. Peace and
relaxation was one of the key motivations:

   •   In one of our Atlanta focus groups, a participant said, “On Sunday mornings, we’ll
       take the paper outside and I’ll pretend I’m in the mountains. You can only see the
       trees and it feels like getting away.”
   •   Another Atlanta homeowner told us, “I go outside to sit out in the sun like I’m at
       the beach.”
   •   In San Francisco we heard, “We have a water feature, which is important to me
       because it’s calming, like the ocean. Last night we were trying to go to sleep and we
       opened the door, turned on all the water features, and went to sleep pretty quickly.”

According to our survey results, enhancing the home’s overall atmosphere and increasing its
resale value were tied for the number one motivation with an impressive 74 percent of
respondents agreeing that these are benefits of having an Outdoor Living space. Other
motivating factors included:

                                K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

Having an Outdoor Living Space                                          % Agree
increases the resale value of my home                                   74%
enhances the overall environment of my home                             74%
is a good way to find refuge or escape every day                        64%
lets me spend time outside, even in inclement weather                   53%
will encourage me to entertain at home more often                       51%
requires a lot of effort and maintenance                                50%
helps me connect with nature                                            48%
will encourage my family to spend more time at home                     45%
is very popular among people I know                                     44%
is too expensive for me right now                                       41%
means that I will spend less money on eating out and entertainment      37%
increases my perceived social status                                    22%
is a waste of money                                                     14%
Source: Kleber & Associates’ Outdoor Living Survey

Further observations in today’s current marketplace align with our original findings. Rest and
relaxation remains a key motivating factor. With extensive secondary research, we were also
able to conclude that the current volatile economy has amplified the motivating factors of
“will encourage my family to spend more time at home” and “means that I will spend less
money on eating out and entertainment.” Due to the increased popularity of “staycations” as
a result of rising unemployment rates, loss in housing equity and the average American
family’s decreased discretionary spending, Outdoor Living spaces will continue to serve as a
cost-effective way to rest and rejuvenate.

Moreover, with declining home values, “increases the resale value of my home” and
“enhances the overall environment of my home,” combine to be important motivating
factors as Outdoor Living spaces are viewed as a long-term investment for homeowners
looking to remain in their homes and for those seeking to enhance their homes’ resale values
in an otherwise unstable housing market.

At the outset of our original research study, we wanted to learn not only what motivated
people to create Outdoor Living spaces but also what prevented them from doing so. What
we learned was not surprising—time and money are the two biggest barriers to cultivating an
Outdoor Living environment. And this remains truer today with less homeowner disposable
income, limited loan availability and declining home prices that do not allow for
discretionary income to be spent on home remodeling projects or additions.

By the same token, however, it is this same busy lifestyle and limited discretionary income
that fosters a greater appreciation for the “everyday escape” that Outdoor Living provides.
As such, the challenge and the opportunity will be to provide a way to simplify the creation
of an Outdoor Living room at a reasonably affordable price.

                                   K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

Product and Design Trends for the Outdoors
Our original research indicated that the penetration of Outdoor Living basics was very high.
Gardens and landscaping, grills, outdoor dining furniture and basic outdoor lighting ranked
the highest. In terms of product penetration, some of the fastest growing Outdoor Living
product categories were still registering low on penetration, but we found that the overriding
trend is that people want their outdoor spaces to function as an additional living area with all
of the comforts that were once limited to indoor rooms.

Product Current Penetration                                                                      %
Mosquito/insect eliminator                                                                       12%
Sound system                                                                                     12%
Water feature                                                                                    15%
Outdoor heater/heat lamp                                                                         3%
Outdoor fireplace/pit                                                                            16%
Vegetable garden                                                                                 27%
Candles                                                                                          18%
Outdoor area rug                                                                                 6%
Sunroom or screened-in porch                                                                     15%
Television                                                                                       5%
Tiki torches                                                                                     16%
Hot tub                                                                                          14%
Professional landscaping                                                                         29%
Source: Kleber & Associates’ Outdoor Living Survey

Other products that topped our “hot list” of Outdoor Living products/projects included the

 “Hot List”                                          12-Month Activity* 5-Year Activity**
DIY Landscaping                                      35%                                    25%
Flower Garden                                        31%                                    24%
Outdoor Lighting Fixtures                            16%                                    34%
Outdoor Lounging Furniture                           15%                                    33%
Cushions for Outdoor Furniture                       15%                                    33%
Vegetable Garden                                     23%                                    19%
Outdoor Dining Furniture                             14%                                    27%
Base: 404 *12-month activity refers to the proportion of respondents who are likely to purchase/install this item within the next
12 months (including new entrants and existing owners replacing or upgrading).
**5-year activity refers to the proportion of respondents who are likely to purchase/install this item within the next 2-5 years
(including new entrants and existing owners replacing or upgrading).
Source: Kleber & Associates’ Outdoor Living Survey,

Comprehensive secondary research conducted in the first quarter of 2009 found that
consumers are seeking “plasma TVs, full-function kitchens, surround sound systems, and
warm and inviting fireplaces” in their Outdoor Living spaces. As technology continues to
evolve, we conclude that gadgets like high-definition TVs, and high performance,

                         K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

technologically advanced outdoor kitchens and grills will continue to advance in popularity
as “must-haves” for Outdoor Living spaces.

Other product features and design trends of note include: railings, lighting and decks,
fireplaces, pools, decorative water features, landscaping, grilling stations and water features
such as pools, hot tubs and ponds, garden pavilions and gazebos as well as water-conserving,
smart irrigation systems. We’ve also confirmed that decks remain the gathering point of the
outdoors just as kitchens continue to be the focal point of entertainment and family time

Below is what our recent research found as some of the most admired features in Outdoor
Living projects, as reported by Professional Remodeler:

               •   Outdoor kitchens, grilling stations and pizza ovens
               •   Ice makers
               •   Gas fire pits and fireplaces
               •   Alfresco living spaces with a protective ceiling and open sides
               •   Finished, rather than beamed, ceilings in covered areas
               •   Mixing materials and colors: for example, wood, composite or
                   PVC decking and powder-coated aluminum, glass or copper
               •   Weather-resistant furniture and fabrics
               •   Heated towel racks for pool and hot tub decks
               •   Radiant heated pool

Demographics Driving Outdoor Living
Boomers, with their massive population and substantial disposable income, continue to
remain an integral buying group in the home and Outdoor Living marketplace. As this
cohort looks to their retirement years, many are seeking improvement of their overall home
environment with the incorporation of Outdoor Living spaces that serve as a place for rest,
relaxation, family time and entertaining.

In addition, as many Boomers seek more non-traditional retirement options such as living in
a downtown area close to the action of city life—as seen by the Ruppies trend—these
individuals are likely to incorporate these spaces into their homes to increase their curb
appeal in a housing market saddled with declining home values and limited home buyers.

New groups that are emerging as drivers of the Outdoor Living movement are the
Millennials and immigrant population. As America’s youngest generation becomes of
homebuyer age and immigrants lay their stake in the American housing market, undertaking
discretionary projects like Outdoor Living spaces soon after purchase allows buyers to avoid

                         K&A Outdoor Living White Paper Update

disruptions and to enjoy the improvements for the entire time they occupy the homes, as
found by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Millennials’ technology-obsessed lifestyles and sociable, open-minded and inclusive
characteristics seem to point them in the direction of a community-oriented, virtual lifestyle.
Relationships are vital to them. They love to connect with friends (evident of their
infatuation with social networking) validating the need for spaces within their home
environments dedicated to both “me” and family time, which also provide the ability to
entertain friends on a budget and within the comfort of their newly acquired homes.

Further good news is that despite the economic downturn and housing industry crisis, the
Millennials maintain their optimism about the future and view the current housing
marketplace as more of an opportunity than a liability. According to a survey from Frank N.
Magid Associates, Millennials continue to place a high value on owning their own homes.
Eight-two percent of adult Millennials say it’s important to own a home, while 90 percent of
married Millennials say it’s important. Almost half of married Millennials own their own
homes, while only 28 percent are renting the place they are living in.

Opportunities for Housing Professionals
Our extensive original research and comprehensive secondary findings support the fact that
there is a sustained focus on Outdoor Living spaces in the residential environment.
Economic trends also point to homeowners’ increased time spent at home with family—a
cost-effective alternative to expensive vacations, entertainment, eating out and shopping.

As Boomers age and look to increase the resale values of their homes while enjoying a
healthy and relaxing lifestyle, Outdoor Living spaces will maintain their popularity. And as
the Millennials and immigrants continue to shape the future of the housing market
throughout the next 20 years, it is likely that the incorporation of Outdoor Living spaces will
not only sustain in popularity, but actively increase over time.

All told, Outdoor Living spaces provide ample opportunities for home product
manufacturers, builders, designers and contractors operating within the home residential
marketplace. And as government legislation provides unprecedented opportunities for first-
time homebuyers and small business owners, it looks as if the revitalization of the housing
market is well on its way to an upturn in the next two years--freeing up discretionary income
to spend on home additions, expansions and remodeling projects with a focus on the

All evidence points to the theory that in five years, we won’t be looking at Outdoor Living
space as a “trend” or “movement” but instead, as a staple of the American home.


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