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What Home Buyers Want in 2019

August 2, 2019

If you want to draw in buyers this year, start in the laundry room

By Lauren Shanesy

A very modern room, with a washer and dryer in it.

According to the latest What Home Buyers Really Want survey from the NAHB, laundry rooms and energy–saving features such as Energy Star appliances, energy–efficient windows, and whole–house green certification are among the most wanted features.

The data, collected from a survey of nearly 4,000 home buyers–those who have either recently purchased a home or plan to purchase a home within the next three years–ranked 175 features based on how essential they are to a home purchasing decision. The top 10 features also included hardwood flooring, a patio, and exterior lighting.

Buyers are also selecting smaller homes, a result of higher home prices and tightening affordability. The NAHB noted a continued decline in the average home size since 2016 and decreased demand for upscale features such a three–plus–car garages.

In 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average new–construction home declined to 2,576 square feet–down from its peak at 2,689 square feet in 2015–driven in part by the increased production of townhouses, which comprised 14% of new home starts.

In the kitchen, open floor plans still reign supreme. Eighty–six percent of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances (67%), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57%), and white kitchen cabinetry (32%).

"White upon white is the new style that is emerging, in terms of cabinets and countertops in both the kitchen and bath, as well as gray on white."

Builders should also keep an eye on other trends, including: farmhouse styles with ample amounts of wood; engineered quartz countertops; vinyl and resilient flooring; wireless controls; open interior and exterior spaces in the kitchen; and higher–end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall–mounted sinks, faucet's, and toilet's.

Source: Builders