Survey: New and Repeat Homebuyers Value Quality and Multifunctionality Over Size

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends

  • Date:

    February 21, 2020

Survey: New and Repeat Homebuyers Value Quality and Multifunctionality Over Size

Industry Trends

For American consumers, quality supersedes size when it comes to purchasing a new home.

According to research by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than 60% of first-time and repeat buyers would prefer a smaller home with high-quality products and amenities over a bigger house with fewer amenities.

The findings were part of the “Home Trends, Buyer Preferences & Must-Have Features for 2020” presentation at last month’s International Builders’ Show by NAHB economist Rose Quint and architect Donald Ruthroff of DAHLIN Group Architecture and Planning.

Average home size is also on the decline, dropping from 2,689 square feet at its peak in 2015 to 2,520 square feet in 2019. However, average home size is still larger (just barely) than the prerecession square footage of 2,499 in 2007.

In 2020, consumers want to create carefully curated spaces that reflect their tastes and lifestyles but that also work hard. According to the NAHB’s consumer survey, single-purpose spaces such as wine cellars and pet washing stations are among the least desired features for both first-time and repeat homebuyers.

Here are a few examples of top priorities for both sets of homebuyers:

  • Consumers are embracing colors other than white or brown for kitchen cabinets. This may be because repainting and re-fronting cabinets is perceived as a relatively small investment for a big impact on the look and feel of a kitchen. Meanwhile, all-white kitchens are still popular.
  • Repeat buyers want bigger laundry rooms. This room has morphed into more of a multipurpose utility space, and it’s not the only room expected to play multiple roles. Buyers want to customize their homes to their preferences: For example, dining room/office combinations are popular, and table space for eating in the kitchen ranked high for first-time homebuyers.
  • Indoor/outdoor connections are trending across the country. California started this trend due to its temperate climate, but it’s spreading across the country in regionally adapted ways. Ruthroff says indoor/outdoor connections can be scaled up or down for all buyers and doesn’t require a picture-perfect view, but he advised builders to be smart about it. For example, connect porches to kitchens instead of living rooms to make outside cooking easily accessible.

Need help connecting with homebuyers and homeowners in 2020? Let me know.

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