A four-bedroom home with two bathrooms and two living areas, larger than 200 square metres, was number one on the 'wish list' of those building a home in 2012 but three-bedroom homes were the most popular as budget constraints ultimately played the biggest part in defining building trends.

"The gap between the numbers of three-bedroom houses built compared with four bedrooms is definitely closing, regardless of the housing affordability crisis in several New Zealand cities," says Generation Homes CEO Kevin Atkinson.

In 2012, 48% of Generation Homes' customers built four-bedroom properties, while 49% built three-bedroom and 3% built five-bedroom houses.

"It appears gone are the days when people want a stock standard three-bedroom, one-bathroom home. If a budget allows, people tend to prefer a larger home with more bedrooms and bathrooms and are willing to sacrifice the latest hi-tech products or expensive finishes to get that," says Atkinson.


"Many families are choosing to future proof their home and also like the added benefit of more space for a games room, study or entertainment room."

Home stylist Jennifer King from House Couture says the end of 2012 means goodbye to the dark tones of greys and beiges that have been predominant over the last few years and 2013 heralds a swing back to whites and creams.

"We are definitely starting to see bright colours making a comeback, particularly citrus - green, orange and aqua.

"When building or renovating, for many homeowners it is important for the home to be marketable while still incorporating the latest trends. Neutral tones have a wide appeal and are still most popular for wall colouring, but adding a burst of colour through accessories like cushions, vases and throws can keep a house on trend without turning potential buyers away," she says.

Other trends in 2012 included walk-in tiled showers, wall hung vanities, triple car garages and a strong focus on outdoor entertainment areas.