Elevators Lack Popularity Among Home Buyers (And Other Unwanted Features)

Two-thirds of home buyers expressed that they do not want an elevator in their home, according to NAHB’s recently released report, What Do Home Buyers Really Want, 2019 edition.

This finding comes from a question in the survey asking recent and prospective home buyers (people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years) to rate home and community features on a four-tier scale of ‘do not want’, ‘indifferent’, ‘desirable’, and ‘essential/must have’. The selection of ‘do not want’ means that home buyers are unlikely to purchase a home with that particular feature. In addition to an elevator, Figure 1 displays the other features that are most unwanted by home buyers.

It comes with little surprise that elevators make this list as they are not a common feature installed in single-family homes, the housing structure that a majority of home buyers want (77 percent). They are much more common in multifamily structures, a structure type that only 4 percent of home buyers expressed a desire to live in.

Three other features are rejected by at least half of home buyers: a wine cellar (57 percent), a plant-covered roof (50 percent), and a daycare center nearby (50 percent). Besides a day care center, two other community features make the top ten most unwanted list: a golf course community (47 percent) and a high-density development (46 percent) (in this context meaning smaller lots and attached/multifamily buildings).

Two materials also make the list: cork flooring is rejected by 47 percent of buyers and laminate kitchen countertops by 46 percent. Rounding out the top ten most unwanted features are a pet washing station (49 percent), dual toilets in master bath (48 percent), and a two-story family room (47 percent).

To lean more facts about what consumers want and do not want in a home and community, please visit the BuilderBooks online store to download the latest edition of What Home Buyers Really Want.



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6 replies

  1. Senior want this. Definately have had a lot of people consider this to moving or on forever homes from clients.

  2. Like all surveys they can be skewed. We have clients that want elevators and those that want dog wash stations. Some may want some of the others. If you ask the right questions you can get any statistic you want. It depends on the customer and budget. We however will try and talk them out of some of these but it’s still all about the customers needs and wants and not what a survey asks. For instance, if you ask would you rather have laminate or stone countertops? Most would choose stone but if it’s a budgetary item most may choose differently. I’m not sure about the dual toilets in the master bath unless one is a bidet.

  3. How do these responses break down by age?
    Older people who live in two story homes (common in the east and midwest) in fact would like very much to be able to ADD an elevator to their home. It would allow them to remain in their home, rather than move to a single floor plan home or assisted living type complex.
    Aging in place is a high priority. An inexpensive elevator available OPTION (installed inside with minimal disruption or as a tower on a practical outside wall) would provide a major step in that direction.
    Unfortunately as of yet none meet the inexpensive criteria, and none can yet be simply installed outside as a freestanding unit.

  4. Hi Karla. My email address is cford@nahb.org. Send me an email and we can discuss results by age. Thank you.

  5. What’s the rationale for defining “recent and prospective home buyers” as “people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years”? Those loose sample parameters are unlikely to be accurately representative of 2019 home buyers. For me, that hurts the credibility of the research behind this report.

    What’s the sample size? How many completes are people who bought in the last 12 months or intend to buy in the next 12 months? You should run the full report only on those people.

    In mid-February, Metrostudy reported information that directly conflicts with your results. The details of how each of you got to very different conclusions matter to those of us who study industry trends and forecasts closely.

  6. Hi Sandy. Our report provides valuable information on home buyer preference trends. Please send me an email at cford@nahb.org and we can discuss the report. Thank you.

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