First Time Homebuyers in the Market for New Construction

Over the past year, the buyer’s market has been extremely competitive in many markets across the US, due in part to low inventory. With a limited number of properties being listed for sale, it makes sense that more buyers are turning toward new construction. 

Take a look at the results from recent surveys from the National Association of Home Builders in regards to new construction and first time home buyers:

First Time Homebuyers considering New Construction

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) is a monthly survey of the National Association of Home Builder members, designed to rate the market conditions for the sale of new homes and the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.

The February 2021 survey showed that builders reported an overall average of 43% of new construction sold to first-time home buyers. Sixty-six percent of builders said that more than 20% of their homes were sold to first-time buyers. 

An Upward Trend

The number of first-time buyers who purchase new construction has steadily increased over the past five years. In 2016, an average of 19% of sales of new homes went to first-time home buyers. The number grew to 32% in October 2018 and jumped to 43% in February 2021. This shows that every year, more first-time buyers are considering new construction.

Most (and Least) Wanted Features in a Home

We’ve all thought about our dream home: the features, design, and amenities we would select if there were no limiting factors. 

In What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition), a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, close to 4,000 home buyers were surveyed to determine the most desirable features when looking for a home.

The survey found that the most desirable features are all about practicality. 

Most Wanted Features

In the survey, participants ranked each feature as Essential, Desirable, Indifferent, or Do Not Want. These were the top ten features buyers look for in a home, according to the survey:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Essential’ or ‘Desirable’
Laundry Room 91%
ENERGY STAR rated windows 89%
Patio 87%
ENERGY STAR rated appliances 86%
Ceiling Fan 85%
Garage Storage 85%
Exterior Lighting 85%
Walk-in Pantry 83%
Hardwood Flooring 83%
Double Kitchen Sink 81%

 

A laundry room came in as the most desired feature in a home, with 91% noting this was important in their home search. Having a laundry room in the primary residence is convenient and saves our most valued asset: time. 

The remaining top ten features focus heavily on sensible and sustainable features. Two spots in the top ten show that ENERGY STAR ratings are essential to today’s buyers.

In addition to ENERGY STAR windows and appliances in the top ten, ENERGY STAR for the entire home came in at number 11, with 81% of buyers stating it was essential or desirable in a home. Green construction is important to consider when moving into a new home, and ENERGY STAR features are one of the easiest ways to implement a sustainable lifestyle. 

Storage is another factor homebuyers seriously consider, with both garage storage and a walk-in pantry making the top ten features. 

Least Wanted Features

As far as what buyers are not looking for, here are the most unwanted features in a home:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Do Not Want’
Elevator 66%
Wine Cellar 57%
Day Care Center 50%
Plant Covered Roof 50%
Pet Washing Station 49%
Dual Toilets in Master Bath 48%
Cork Flooring 47%
Golf Course Community 47%
Two Story Family Room 47%
High Density Development 46%

 

The top two unwanted features in a home were an elevator, with 66% of home buyers stating they did not want one in a home, and a wine cellar, with 57% of participants stating they do not want one.

Other features that are unwanted by home buyers are focused on community amenities. Ones that made the ‘do not want’ list include a daycare center, plant-covered roof, pet washing station, and golf course community. 

What are your most desired features in a home?

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