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Demand for contemporary home style continues to increase in popularity, according to the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) fourth quarter Home Design Trends Survey. The survey also found that modern farmhouse style continues to remain popular among homeowners. The popularity of contemporary home styles increased 13 percentage points year over year, according to the AIA.

"From a home design perspective, low maintenance and durable building materials continue to increase in popularity," AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said in a public statement.

The AIA also found project billings and inquiries remained strong at residential architecture firms during the third quarter of 2019, but project backlogs decreased. The average backlog for firms decreased from 5.0 months in the second quarter to 4.8 months in the third quarter. The 4.8-month backlog remains higher than the 4.5-month backlog reported during the final quarter of 2018.

The survey also found an increased demand for fire-resistive design and exterior building materials, with both areas posting popularity increases of eight percentage points year over year. Residential architecture firms in the northeast and southern regions of the U.S. saw slower growth in revenue this quarter relative to the previous quarter, but the AIA reported billings at firms in all regions continued to expand.

Alteration remodeling and addition project activity saw a five-point decline from 2018, according to the AIA. Additionally, the design of new affordable homes continued to weaken and kitchen and bath remodeling activity saw a four-point decline from 2018.

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.