Most Likely (Unlikely) Features in a New Single-Family Home in 2020


Home builders make a lot of decisions about how to run their businesses every day.  Among their most critical determinations is what features to include in the homes they build.  Experience, region, trends, target audience, and many other factors play a role in a decision that directly affects their bottom line.  In order to provide our members with actionable research, NAHB conducts a nationwide survey annually to find out the most likely (and unlikely) features builders will include in the typical home they build during the upcoming year.

The graph below shows the features builders are most likely to include in their homes in 2020.  At the very top, with average ratings of 4.8 or 4.9 are a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-e windows, and a laundry room (on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 means not at all likely and 5 means very likely).  Also likely to show up in homes this year are energy-efficient features:  efficient lighting, programmable thermostat, and Energy Star appliances and windows.  Kitchens most likely will have a central island, a walk-in pantry, and granite countertops.


On the other hand, there are features builders are rather unlikely to include with the price of the home.  Heading this list are cork flooring for the living areas of the main floor, geothermal heat pumps, solar systems, and dual toilets in the master bath.  Also unlikely are specialty rooms like a sunroom or a media room as well as two-story family rooms or foyers.


2 replies

  1. Wow! Thanks for the new information on how the single family home features would look like in 2020. It’s interesting to see that at the very top, walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-e windows, and a laundry room are included. Since most people prefer that in their house, I think I shall consider looking into these things before I purchase one.

  2. I just purchased an older (1950’s) home because it ticked most all the boxes: Front and back porch, FP + family room, office/den, corian countertops, gas/elec stove, AC + tankless water heater + triple pane windows, front facing kitchen window/sink AND no carpet (tile& laminate). Yes the closets are small but there are linen cupboards in each bath and separate laundry room spacious enough for and extra fridge/storage thanks to the ‘add on’ of it and the family room with dining area and FP. It also came with a dbl carport, work space, shed and a pool. Not new by any stretch but had nearly everything I wanted except updated bathrooms and I replaced the toidies with low flow which will get me an adjustment on my water bill for both. My convert the den to a 4th bedroom someday and currently screening in the rear porch.

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