Home Buyers Want Energy Efficient Windows


Previous posts reported on home buyer preferences for kitchen and bath features, from NAHB’s recent study What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition.  The same study also asked the panel of 3,247 recent and prospective home buyers to rate a dozen different window types and materials on the following four tier scale:

The general window characteristic that home buyers value more than any other is energy efficiency.  Of the twelve listed window types and materials, the three most popular are all related to energy conservation.  At the very top are ENERGY-STAR rated windows, rated essential (39 percent) or desirable (44 percent) by 83 percent of home buyers, followed by tripled-pane insulating glass, wanted by 73 percent of home buyers (21 percent essential; 52 percent desirable); and low e-insulating glass, preferred by 65 percent of home buyers (21 percent essential; 44 percent desirable).  Only two other window features positively influence more than half of home buyers: bay or bow windows (57 percent) and skylights (54 percent).  Floor-to-ceiling windows, a new featured added to NAHB’s home buyer preference survey in 2020, were rated  essential or desirable to slightly less than half (48 percent) of home buyers.

Buyers tended to be relatively indifferent about the materials used for the window frames.  For example, 41 percent of home buyers are indifferent to fiberglass windows, more than any other feature.  Essentially the same share is indifferent to aluminum glass windows (40 percent) and sizable shares are indifferent to wood or clad wood windows and vinyl windows (37 percent each).

Preferences for floor-to-ceiling windows in particular are positively related to the buyers’ incomes and price they expect to pay for the home.  Only 33 percent of home buyers with income of less than $50,000 want floor-to-ceiling windows, compared to 66 percent of buyers with income of $150,000 or more. Similarly, only 37 percent of buyers who expect to pay less than $150,000 for their home want it, 24 percentage points lower than among buyers who expect to pay $500,000 or more for their home (61 percent).

It is not surprising that less affluent buyers are less likely to want floor-to-ceiling windows, probably viewing them as an unnecessarily costly luxury.

To see home buyer preferences for other features (including all results broken down by Census division, age, generation, race/ethnicity, income, priced expected to pay for the home, household composition, and first-time vs. repeat buyer) and a complete description of the survey design and sampling methodology, please consult the full study.

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1 reply

  1. I love all the charts it really helped break down everything you were talking about in a visual way Thanks!

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