Top Bathroom Features Among Millennial Home Buyers


The most wanted bathroom feature among Millennial home buyers is ‘both a shower stall & tub in the  master bath’, according to a report recently published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition). Seventy-six percent of Millennial home buyers want this feature.

The report is based on a survey that asks prospective and recent home buyers about the features they want in a home or a community. As part of the survey, respondents were asked to rate over 175 features (including bathroom features) on a four-tier scale of essential/must have, desirable, indifferent, and do not want. Breaking down the total share who want ‘both a shower stall & tub in the master bath’ shows that 42 percent consider the feature desirable and 34 percent consider it an essential/must have (Figure 1).

The next set of bathroom features popular among Millennials indicate that they want larger bathrooms to accommodate certain amenities. For example, the second most popular bathroom feature among Millennials is a double vanity (75 percent), followed by a linen closet in the master bath (73 percent), a whirlpool tub (70 percent), and a private toilet compartment in the master bath (68 percent). A dressing/make-up area and a ‘toilet, tub and sink – white’ are also important to Millennials, with 67 percent each reporting that these are desirable or essential/must have features.

Millennials also expressed interest in having specific shower features: 66 percent want ‘multiple shower heads in a master bath’, and 64 percent want a ‘body spray panel in a master bath (shower head(s) plus spray massage jets)’. A majority of Millennials also want a granite vanity (64 percent).

Figure 2 displays the bathrooms features for which there is at least a 20-percentage point difference between the share of Millennials who want it versus Seniors. A sizable share of Millennials – 46 percent want ‘dual toilets in the master bath’, 32 percentage points more than Seniors (14 percent). Fifty-five percent of Millennials want ‘his & her baths’, compared to 39 percent of Gen X’ers, and only 25 percent of Boomers and Seniors. Fifty-six percent of Millennials want a ‘toilet, tub and sink – color’, 21 percentage points above that of Seniors (35 percent), and 70 percent of Millennials want a whirlpool tub in a master bath, compared to 44 percent of Seniors.

For additional information, an August 2019 NAHB study showed the history of Millennials’ preferences for select housing characteristics.  The greatest level of detail—including preferences for hundreds of items broken down by generation, geography, first-time vs. repeat buyer, household composition, race, income, and price expected to pay for the home—is available in the 2019 edition of What Home Buyers Really Want.

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1 reply

  1. All the survey’s being done on millennials generally shows they are enveloped in a paradox of ideas and desires when it comes to home buying. It’s reported they want smaller homes and will pay less than any other demographic, yet they also want items that make smaller more difficult, large bathrooms with luxury features, mudrooms, garages, separate area for home office, etc. Added to that expensive features such as smart homes, communities with lots of sidewalks, open green space, and amenities, etc. All this is not possible for affordable housing on the traditional single family lot.

    This is why many areas are seeing a lot of townhouses where you can at least get the amenities and location, even if you can’t get everything else on the mile long “want list” most folks have. Landlord nation is also a direction the US is moving in, and many developers are targeting new build rental neighborhoods over traditional for sale.

    It will be interesting to see how the actual financial status of this large generation will blend with the wants of the generation. Somewhere needs will take proximity over wants, one would hope.

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