By Peter Ricci
It’s the ever-present question on everyone’s mind, right up there with the meaning of life and the purpose of the Higgs Boson – what DO homebuyers want, in today’s real estate market?
All kidding aside, it’s important for agents to be aware of the greater homebuyer trends going on in housing now. All buyers are unique and all have their own interests and aspirations regarding the homebuying process, but there are some undeniable trends that are influencing today’s homebuying decisions.
Here are some of the most important:
- Modest Floor Plans – Super-sized homes were one of the most visible products of the boom years, but as we’ve documented, home sizes have fallen gradually since the housing bubble burst in 2007. That year, the average size for new construction properties was 2,521 square feet, but by 2010, that number had dropped to 2,377, and builders anticipate it will drop even further to 2,152 in 2015.
- Organized Comfort – Today’s homebuyers also want homes with clean, organized layouts that emphasize comfort above all else. An NAHB survey found that buyers primarily want these 10 amenities in their homes: low-energy windows; a walk-in closet in the master bedroom; a linen closet; separate showers and tubs; energy efficient appliances and lights; a programmable thermostat; a great room; 9-foot ceilings in the first floor; an insulated front door; and a laundry room.
- Smaller Price Tags – Home sizes are not the only thing getting smaller; the price tags are, as well. Forty-five percent of today’s buyers spent less than $200,000 on their residences, and the average price spent has gone down from $297,000 in 2005 to $272,900 in 2010.
- Energy Efficiency – “Green” has definitely caught on, and today’s buyers want homes with natural lighting and extra insulation, among other green touches. In 2011, 17 percent of newly-constructed homes were green, and by 2016, builders anticipate that number growing to 38 percent.
These are all technical details you should be aware of, but don’t forget the one thing all buyers want, regardless of their home preferences – optimism. It’s been a tough few years for many people, and it’s easy to tire of all the negative news out there. So be positive, be vibrant and be optimistic!