NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) recently released its latest study tracking the evolution of home buyer preferences, titled Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers. The study answers key questions on how various designs influence the home purchase decision as well as the location, features and size of the home consumers want. Based on a nationwide survey of over 4,300 recent and prospective home buyers, results are tabulated for all home buyers as a single group and also across these four generations: Millennials (born 1980 or later), Gen X’ers (born 1965-1979), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), and Seniors (born 1945 or earlier).
So what features do most buyers consider essential/desirable in a potential new home? Answer: those that help them save energy and keep the home organized. ENERGY STAR® appliances and windows, insulation higher than required by code, a laundry room, garage storage, and a walk-in pantry are features that would positively influence the purchase decision of 80% or more of all home buyers. Also high on buyers’ most wanted list are exterior lighting, a patio, a full bath on the main level, and hardwood on the main level of the home.
There are some similarities and some differences in the “Most Wanted List” across generations. For example, the laundry room is key to all home buyers, ranking as the first most wanted feature among Millennials, Gen X’ers, and Seniors, and third among Boomers. Exterior lighting and ceiling fans are also important to all buyers, appearing on the top 10 list of all generations.
Interestingly, Energy Star® rated appliances are popular among all groups, but Millennials rank it as 10th most wanted, whereas Gen X’ers, Boomers, and Seniors rank it first or second. In addition, Millennials are the only generation to have three outdoor spaces in their top 10 list: a deck, a patio, and a front porch. The deck does not appear in the top list for the other three generations, while the front porch falls out of the top 10 for Boomers and Seniors.