Survey Says Buyers Willing to Trade Square Footage for Amenities

January 12th, 2017 by Editor

The average size of newly built homes decreased in 2016, and a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says this is because millennials are finally dipping their toes into the market. One of the amenities they are looking for is low-E windows.

In 2015, the typical new home had 2,689 square feet. In 2016, it dropped to 2,634, according to figures supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the first drop in size since 2009, said Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president for survey research.

“The data on new home characteristics show a pattern,” she said. “2016 marked the end of an era that began in 2009 when homes got bigger and bigger with more amenities. I expect the size of homes to continue to decline as demand increases from first-time buyers.”

These homes must include specific amenities: a separate laundry room tops the list of must-haves across all income groups. Energy-efficient features, like low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, ceiling fans and programmable thermostats are also at the top of buyers’ wish lists. Homebuyers also want their homes to have a patio, exterior lighting and a full bath on the main level.

But it’s all about value, as millennials are thinking ahead to building equity to enable them to purchase their next home. And when that happens, they aren’t looking for oversized master suites or over-the-top finishes.

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