Friday, October 28, 2016

The Anatomy of Today’s Homebuyer, Part 2

Who exactly is today’s homebuyer? In part one of this blog we outlined facts, statistics and data on today’s homebuyer demographics, as well as what they’re looking for and what’s motivating them.

From square footage (less) to relationship status (more single homebuyers, especially single women), what’s most important (quality of neighborhood above school system and affordability) and which amenities are hottest (walk-in closets, tech and green homes), by knowing what buyers are looking for and how they operate, we can market your home sale with maximum efficiency.

So what do today’s homebuyers really want – part two?

So what are some things that will send potential buyers running for the next listing?

56% of buyers say they’re turned off by bad or strange odors
70% of home shoppers are scared off by damp patches, stained walls and ceilings (as they should be!)
54% of potential homebuyers report that dull lighting or a lack of natural light is unattractive
25% found outdated bathrooms unappealing
15% don’t even want to walk in a cluttered room, and
14% dislike décor that is in bad taste or over the top

Agent-assisted home purchases are at an all-time high of 87 percent, while only 7 percent purchasing directly from the previous owner and 6 percent buying from the builder.

What are the pain points for homebuyers? Asked to rank the most difficult step in home buying, this is how today’s homebuyers responded:

51% Finding the right property
23% Paperwork
17% No difficult steps
14% Understanding the process
13% Getting a mortgage
13% Saving for the down payment

As we documented in part one of this blog, the vast majority of homebuyers start their search for a property online on websites or the MLS. Here are the features of real estate websites they found most valuable:

84% Found detailed information about properties
87% Found photos very useful
45% Found interactive maps very useful
42% Real estate contact information
42% virtual tours very useful
Homebuyers are increasingly concerned with the location of their neighborhood in proximity to where they work when faced with increasing commute times. According to surveys, how important is a reasonable time and cost of commute to work for today’s homebuyer?
32% Not important
30% Very important
38% Somewhat important
It seems like all single buyers want two things in a home these days: central air conditioning and a house that’s wired. But according to the sex of the homebuyer, their priorities may differ from there.

Single Men:
Stainless steel and granite countertops
Cathedral ceilings
New homes
Walk-in closets

Single Women:
New kitchen appliances
En-suite master bath
Single level homes

Do buyers want condos, single-family homes, or townhouses? Well that may depend on their age group, as their area significant differences by generation.

Gen Y
84% Detached single-family homes
7% Townhouses/PUD
3% Condos

Gen X
89% Detached single-family homes
5% Townhouses/PUD
2% Condos

Younger Baby Boomers
82% Detached single-family homes
9% Townhouses/PUD
3% Condos

Older Baby Boomers
81% Detached single-family homes
5% Townhouses/PUD
5% Condos

Silent Generation
71% Detached single-family homes
8% Townhouses/PUD
10% Condos

Multi-generational housing is growing rapidly:

13% of all homes are purchased by multigenerational households.
57 million people are living in multi-generational households, double the number in 1980.
1 in 5 Younger Boomers purchases a multi-generational home.
Why are multiple generations in the same family buying a home together? Here are the top reported reasons:

24% Cost savings
23% Adult children moving back in
18% Caretaking for aging parents
10% Spending more time with aging parents

First-time buyers are lagging:
The historical norm for first-time buyers is 40%.
However, the percentage for first-time buyers is now 32%, the lowest number since 30% in 1987.

Incomes among homebuyers are rising.
The median income for homebuyers is now:

Repeat buyers $98,700
All buyers $86,100
First-time buyers $69,400

How about luxury homebuyers?

70 percent of luxury and high-end buyers say the location of their home is the most important factor.

Homes near the beach or mountains are still popular, with great views and access to leisure activities paramount, but many younger buyers are purchasing property with acreage in the country or rural settings, too.

And 54% of luxury buyers still put top priority on a chef’s kitchen when they go looking for their next home.

60 percent of affluent customers want hi-tech and wired homes, fully automated so they can control features like lights, security systems, video cameras and intercoms, climate control, TVs and music, window shades, and door locks from an iPad, remotely via a mobile app, or even with voice activation.

In fact, almost 90 percent of this demographic of luxury homebuyer said they wouldn't even consider living in a home that isn't tech-friendly.

Buyers want green and environmentally friendly homes that are also energy efficient. Two thirds of high end buyers looked for Energy Star-rated windows and doors and insulated glass, and 18 percent of those surveyed reporting that they a home's Green-LED certification was very important.

Open floor plans are more important than ever according to 39 percent of high-end buyers.

Media rooms still are in vogue, with 60 percent of respondents looking for homes that contain one, and 19 percent looking for home theaters.

Home gyms and specialty exercise rooms were an important feature for 50 percent of buyers.

28 percent of luxury homebuyers want swimming pools.

Outdoor kitchens are still a red-hot trend, with nearly half of new luxury buyers on the hunt for homes with that feature. But aside from the typical wet bar (desired by 42 percent of respondents), they’re also looking for warming drawers, sinks, and climate controlled wine, beer, and beverage fridges. 

Buyers also are looking for outdoor fireplaces and fire pits in close proximity to the swimming pool and outdoor entertainment area.

Open rooftops are being utilized as spaces for entertainment, exercise, reflection, yoga, and sunset watching, and also to create stunning rooftop gardens and green areas.

Luxury homes appeal to car aficionados with subterranean parking, high-tech automated parking, and even glass ceilings or walls so the autos are on display as you walk through other areas of the house.

They want dedicated wine cellars with precise climate controls and also dining and tasting areas to host their friends for vineyard-quality events and parties.

Super purification systems are one of the biggest new attractions in the luxury market, with filtration systems that include UV lights, humidification systems, and energy-efficient fans run to keep the air purified.

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