Spring home buying season is underway, and the home building industry is celebrating New Homes Month in April. If you’re in the market for a new home, you may be considering what features are essential on your must-have list. Do other home buyers have similar preferences?
A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals what home features are among the most wanted this year. First-time buyers and existing home owners ranked features based on how essential they are to a home-purchasing decision.
Home buyers ranked a laundry room and energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification among the most wanted home features. More than a third of home buyers deem a patio, garage storage and exterior lighting as must haves for homes.
When asked specifically about kitchen features, a walk-in pantry, double sink, table space for eating, a central island and granite/natural stone countertops were ranked the most wanted by 75 percent or more of all buyers. Two-thirds of buyers checked stainless steel as their preferred color for appliances.
Are home buyers interested in unique home layouts or more space than what they currently have? By a significant margin, home buyers prefer open layouts. The amount of space varied across generations. Millennials wanted more space than what they currently have whereas seniors are looking to downsize. Recent trends show the size of new homes has been decreasing since 2016; fewer have four or more bedrooms, or three or more bathrooms.
Single-family detached homes have always been the first choice for an overwhelming majority of buyers, while home location preferences varied across generations. Nearly a quarter of millennials would like to buy a home in the central city, more than twice the rate of any other generation. However, almost twice as many millennials would prefer to live in the suburbs, a preference shared by a majority of Gen Xers and Boomers. More than 80 percent of seniors prefer the suburbs.
A commitment to energy efficiency continued in 2019 among home buyers. Buyers are willing to pay extra for a home if it means more energy savings on utility bills. In addition to Energy Star items, most wanted energy-conserving features include efficient lighting, triple-pane insulating glass windows and insulation higher than required by code.
Unlike other home preferences, interest in home technologies was strong across all generations. Home buyers indicated their interest in technology features designed to enhance the security of their homes. The top three most wanted technology features are security cameras, a video doorbell and a wireless home system. Home buyers were divided about the need for technology features to be responsive to voice commands.