What Do 2022 Buyers Want? NAHB Lists Preferences
By Kerry Smith
The pandemic continues to influence demand for outdoor amenities, bigger homes and the suburbs. But all ages still like laundry rooms and walk-in pantries.
ORLANDO, Fla. – During the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recent convention in Orlando, researchers issued a list of the home features currently desired by different generations. Some rose in importance thanks to the pandemic, though many tried-and-true preferences didn’t go away.
According to NAHB, an increased desire for bigger homes, suburban locations and more outdoor amenities drive new home design, resulting in a rise in the average size of a new home to 2,524 square feet. New-home buyers also show a preference to homes with four-plus bedrooms (46%) and at least three bathrooms (34%).
Desires vary by generation, however. Still, all generations listed five items they consider important:
- Laundry rooms
- Exterior lighting
- Ceiling fans
- Walk-in pantries
Buyers by generation
Millennials’ (36%) and Gen Xers’ (34%) housing preferences have changed because of the pandemic. In addition to a desire for more space and more bedrooms, both groups also look for homes with modern or contemporary exteriors designed for multiple generations. They also want exercise rooms, home offices and designated bike lanes in their communities.
“With this data, you immediately see that younger buyers have been impacted by the pandemic more than older generations,” says National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Assistant Vice President of Survey Research Rose Quint.
Only 18% of baby boomers, on the other hand, noted a change in their preferences. They’re interested in smaller homes on smaller lots, preferably in the suburbs. They also have an eye toward energy efficiency, with top preferences focused on energy-efficient lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances and whole home certification.
“Boomers have likely owned a home before, and understand the costs of heating and cooling a home,” Quint says.
The percentage of single-family homes with patios rose to 63% as more emphasis is placed on outdoor living. Homebuyers across generations also show a stronger concern for all details of exterior living, with millennials indicating a specific interest in front porches as well.