WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 — The housing downturn of the last few years affected not only the number of new homes that are built each year, but also the characteristics, features and size of the ones that do get built. Builders and other industry professionals now have an opportunity to find out what home buyers really want and will not give up in today's market, as well as which features they are ready to leave behind in light of current economic realities with a new publication from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
NAHB's publishing arm, BuilderBooks, recently released What Home Buyers Really Want, a study which outlines home buyers' preferences for home type and size, room layout and design, kitchen and baths, windows and doors, accessibility and outdoor features, electronics and technology in the home, energy efficiency and choosing a community.
The study was conducted by NAHB's Economics and Housing Policy Group in 2012, based on a survey of home buyers nationwide. Results from the study are available by age, income, race and Census division, among other demographic characteristics.
"This survey is a great resource for building professionals, as it provides an inside look at the things home buyers really want or don't want in their homes," said Rose Quint, NAHB's Assistant Vice President for Survey Research, and one of the study's authors. "With the housing market beginning to recover, and more consumers in the position to purchase a home, it is more important than ever for builders to be armed with this information."
What do home buyers really want?
• First and foremost, energy efficiency. Some of the most wanted features involve saving energy, i.e. energy-star rated appliances and windows, and an energy-star rating for the whole home. Nine out of ten buyers would rather buy a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills than one without those features that costs 2 percent to 3 percent less.
• Home buyers also want help with organization and storage. Large majorities want a laundry room, a linen closet in the bath, garage storage and a walk-in pantry.
What do most buyers not want?
• An elevator - 70 percent would be unlikely to buy a home with this feature.
• High density communities or golf courses.
• Only a shower stall (no tub) in the master bath.
On Wednesday, March 6 at 2:00 pm EST, NAHB will host a webinar to discuss the findings of the survey. For more information, or to register, go to http://www.nahb.org/meeting_details.aspx?meetingID=26040.