Friday, January 22, 2010

WHAT DO HOMEBUYERS WANT IN 2010? BUILDERS HOPE THEY KNOW

 Smaller homes, lower prices. That's the outlook for new home builders this year. In fact, 95 percent of those polled by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) say they will do one or the other, maybe both.
Rose Quint, assistant vice president for NAHB's Survey Research Economics and Housing Policy Group, told the media at the 2010 NAHB International Builders' Show that builders were given a list of 40 features and asked which ones they were likely to include in new homes this year. Here's what's hot and what's not.
Items most likely to be found in new homes for 2010:
1.     Walk-in closet in master bedroom
2.     Separate laundry room
3.     Insulated front door
4.     Great room
5.     Low-E windows
6.     Linen closet
7.     Programmable thermostat
8.     Energy-efficient appliances and lighting
9.     Separate shower and tub in master bedroom
10.   Nine-foot ceilings on first floor
The least likely items homebuyers will find in new homes this year include:
1.     Outdoor kitchen
2.     Outdoor fireplace
3.     Sun room
4.     Butler's pantry
5.     Media room
6.     Desk in kitchen
7.     Two-story foyer
8.     Eight-foot ceiling on first floor
9.     Multiple shower heads in master bath
10.   Smaller kitchen area than in recent years
"Builders will focus heavily on energy-saving features," said Quint. "Things we thought were consumer necessities — such as granite countertops in the kitchen or home offices — are not on the list."
Also on the chopping block this year are energy-guzzlers like the high-ceiling entryways. Builders hope nine-foot ceilings will give the buyer a feeling of more square footage, which has been reduced.
Buyers will be looking for ways to save money. For example, water-saving toilets use an average of 39,000 fewer gallons of water annually for a family of four. That's enough for a lifetime of drinking water for three people, said Shane Judd, senior marketing manager of water conservation for Kohler.
NAHB conducted a consumer survey to compare the wants of older buyers with others.They found that those age 55 and older have a slightly different "want" list in a new home:
1.     Washer-dryer in the unit
2.     Storage space
3.     Windows that open easily
4.     Garage door opener
5.     Easy-to-use thermostat
6.     Master bedroom on first floor
7.     Private patio
8.     Porch
9.     Attached garage
10.   Bigger bathrooms