Future Homebuyers Desire Personalization, Ditch All-White Kitchens, and Make Room for Pets
ATLANTA (September 11, 2018) – Ashton Woods, one of the nation’s largest private homebuilders, recently surveyed over 1400 future homebuyers from across the country to identify clear trends in what people want in areas ranging from design, personalization and room layouts to fixtures and finishes in the Ashton Woods National Homebuyer Survey. Key findings of the survey include:
- Personalized design options and customer satisfaction ratings were the most important considerations when selecting a homebuilder.
- Three-fourths of the participants said they are more likely to select a builder that offers design personalization options over one that does not.
- Future homebuyers are most frustrated with their current kitchens, master bathrooms and backyards, wanting to update those spaces.
“The results of this survey mark an evolution in design trends poised to shape the market in the years to come,” said Carrie Schonberg, chief marketing officer at Ashton Woods. “Yet one insight rules them all: that homebuyers now more than ever expect to be able to personalize their homes, and that this is a top priority when selecting a homebuilder.”
Homebuyers are putting their focus on the kitchen – as nearly three-fourths of participants said they would prioritize luxury features in the kitchen over other areas of the home. Despite the all-white kitchen trend that’s been so prevalent across tv shows and design blogs of late, future homebuyers are moving towards more natural wood cabinets.
“We identified this emerging trend late last year and started incorporating beautiful natural wood cabinets in our Studios and models,” said Leigh Spicher, national director of design studios at Ashton Woods. “It speaks to a shift in the all-white trend, and homebuyers are loving the more nuanced texture and versality of the look.”
In contrast, the survey revealed that homebuyers are slightly behind design trends for countertop materials and metal finishes. Granite still has the lead over marble and quartz when it comes to countertop materials, with 33 percent of participants making it their top choice. Similarly, the classic brushed nickel and stainless-steel finishes were the top metal choices, lagging behind the recent trend of satin brass and bronze making an appearance in homes.
“I expect we’ll see a change in preferences over the next few years as buyers learn the benefits of new materials and see new options,” commented Spicher. “While granite and marble still hold their lead, we are seeing that buyers tend to choose quartz when they learn of its durability as well as the manufactured consistency benefits it has over the other pricier, more natural materials. And as mixing metals continues to gain popularity as a trend, we’re seeing an uptick in requests for historically less popular finishes such as satin brass or bronze. They make great statement metals to complement a more neutral metal such as stainless steel or brushed nickel.”
The survey also revealed that homebuyers are making room for their pets, finding it important to have a dedicated space for their pets in their next home. This sentiment was especially strong amongst pet-owning millennials.
“With nearly 77 percent of participants owning at least one pet, we are not surprised to see our experience reflected in the survey results,” said Spicher. “We routinely see customers asking for a dedicated space for their furry companions, and our team loves to come up with creative ideas to give them a special place in their new home.”
When it comes to bonus rooms, a dedicated home office was cited as the most important space, clearly showing how changes in work lifestyles are affecting what consumers need at home. In addition, homebuyers are putting their money where their mouth is, as 33 percent of participants said they would be willing to spend $10,000 or more to add a hobby or bonus room.
“In the past, bonus rooms have been a blank slate when homebuyers get the keys to their home,” said Jay Kallos, senior vice president of architecture for Ashton Woods. “Now, homebuyers come into our Studios knowing they want a room specifically dedicated to a hobby – whether it’s a workout room, a media room, game room or home office. These rooms typically have specialized needs, and we work with homeowners to design truly unique spaces that fit their personal interests and hobbies.”
In the master suite, size is a major draw for homebuyers, with 44 percent of participants prioritizing master bedroom square footage over features like luxury finishes. In the master bathroom, 73 percent of participants would ditch the shower/tub combo. Participants preferred having a walk-in shower and no bathtub (37 percent) or having a separate shower and bathtub (36 percent) over having a shower/bathtub combo (27 percent).
“Homebuyers are clearly asking for the master bathroom to be a luxurious retreat,” said Spicher. “Having a separate shower and tub or a standalone, oversized shower better defines the space better and gives it a dedicated purpose and spa-like feel.”
As for flooring options, homebuyers unsurprisingly said they preferred hardwood. Carpet was a polarizing choice for homebuyers – landing in both the second favorite and the least favorite spots. Survey participants identified custom built-ins and decorative ceilings as special design elements they would most like to incorporate into their next home, suggesting homebuyers want design features that have character and style.
“Homebuyers are drawn to any option that allows them to personalize a room for their tastes or needs,” said Kallos. “Built-ins and decorative ceilings are two custom design options that are relatively simple yet make an impressive statement in any room.”
To view the executive summary and full report, visit https://www.ashtonwoods.com/2018-ashton-woods-national-homebuyer-survey.