Realtor.com® Consumer Survey Identifies Home Shoppers’ Preferences in 2017
Ranch-style homes, large backyards and updated kitchens top shoppers’ wish lists this spring, according to realtor.com®‘s home buyer survey. More than half of home seekers are looking for a three-bedroom home, while 75 percent of shoppers are considering a two-bathroom home. Realtor.com® is a leading online real estate destination operated by News Corp [NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA]; [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc.
The survey, based on March data from shoppers on realtor.com®, provides insight into home buying trends in 2017 by analyzing what features shoppers are looking for this spring and summer – the peak home buying seasons.
“The insights from our most recent consumer survey provide a glimpse into what buyers are looking at today,” said Sarah Staley, housing expert for realtor.com®. “While we often think of dream homes as being big and bold, that’s not what we’re hearing from potential buyers today. These insights can help guide potential sellers in deciding which rooms or features to invest in before listing their homes.”
Following are key findings of the realtor.com® home buyer survey. Complete survey findings can be viewed at http://research.realtor.com/spring-home-shoppers.
Large backyards, garages and updated kitchens top list of most searched attributes
All age groups are looking for some combination of a backyard, garage and updated kitchen. Unsurprisingly younger homebuyers who are more likely to have young children in the house are particularly excited about finding a large yard. These age groups are also most interested in living in a good school district. The least-searched features were a guesthouse, mother-in-law suite, solar panels and a “man cave.”
Ranch-style homes and kitchens rule in 2017
Ranch homes led shoppers’ rankings of desired home styles by far, with 42 percent of shoppers looking for a ranch home. No other style of home broke 29 percent, although contemporary came close with 28 percent, followed by Craftsman and Colonial styles.
Eighty percent of shoppers ranked the kitchen as one of their three favorite rooms in their home. Kitchens were followed by master bedroom (49 percent) and living room (42 percent) among most age groups. Although, shoppers over 55 years old preferred garages over living rooms.
Privacy ranks as shoppers’ top goal for buying, largely driven by buyers over age 45
Most shoppers cite privacy as their top goal when searching for a home. Shoppers want to have a space that is solely their own. This preference can be attributed to mostly buyers between 45 and 64 years old, for whom privacy tends to beat out other preferences such as stability, family needs and financial investment.
Millennial shoppers cite family needs as the primary reason for entering the housing market
As millennial buyers prioritize family needs, it is no surprise that most millennials cited life events like increasing family size and getting married or moving in with a partner as their primary triggers for finding a new home. Shoppers age 35-44 are also focused on family needs. Most of this group cited better school districts or changing family circumstances as their primary reasons for purchasing a new home. Shoppers over age 45 are looking to downsize, as all age groups above 45 cited planning for retirement as their primary motive for finding a new house.
Desire for single-family home rises with age
Among younger buyers, many of whom are buying starter homes, 40 percent of shoppers were looking for townhouses and row houses. As shoppers age, however, that number declines and single-family homes are a clear preference. The older the age group is, the less likely they are to consider a townhouse and the more likely they are to prefer a single-family home.