Outdoor Features & a Laundry Room Among Most Wanted Features

The two most wanted features in a home are a laundry room and a patio, according to NAHB’s latest study on buyer preferences—What Home Buyers Really Want Study*.  Buyers in the study were given a list of 200+ features of the home and the community and asked to rate each one on a consistent scale (essential, desirable, indifferent, do not want) in order to produce comparable results.

The most wanted list consists of 13 features rated essential or desirable by at least 80% of all home buyers in the study (Fig. 1).  In addition to the laundry room and a patio, both wanted by 86% of buyers, the list also includes:

  • Three additional outdoor features: exterior lighting (82%), a front porch (81%), and landscaping (80%).
  • Two in the kitchen: table space for eating (80%) and a walk-in pantry (80%).
  • Two related to energy-efficiency: ENERGY STAR windows (83%) and appliances (80%).
  • Plus, ceiling fans (81%), garage storage (81%), hardwood for the main level (81%), and a full bath on the main level of the home (80%).

 

The most wanted list in Figure 1, although valuable and informative, doesn’t change much over time.  Clearly, builders ought to try to incorporate as many of these features as possible, given that 80%+ of buyers have a strong preference for them.  But are there other features, perhaps not as widely popular, that are growing on home buyers?

Figure 2 shows the 10 features with the most growth in popularity in the last 10 years—all have seen the share of buyers rating them essential/desirable increase by at least 25 points since 2012.  At the top of this most-growth list are security cameras, now wanted by 76% of buyers, 36 points higher than a decade ago, followed by a wired home security system (up 35 points) and a programmable thermostat (up 31 points).

Technology is the common thread through all the features gaining the most favor with buyers in the last 10 years.  Figure 2 also allows us to glean that buyers are leaning on technology primarily for two purposes: to increase the safety of their home and to save energy by efficiently controlling the temperature of their home.

What Home Buyers Really Want, 2024 Edition sheds light on the housing preferences of the typical home buyer and is based on a national survey of more than 3,000 recent and prospective home buyers.  Because of the inherent diversity in buyer backgrounds, the study provides granular specificity based on demographic factors such as generation, geographic location, race/ethnicity, income, and price point.


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