NAHB Study Tracks the Evolution of Homebuyer Preferences

March 8, 2016

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has had a long history of tracking the evolution of homebuyer preferences. Builders and other industry professionals now have an opportunity to find out what Baby Boomers want compared to other home buyers in Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers, a study recently released by NAHB’s publishing arm, BuilderBooks.

Based on a comprehensive, nationwide survey of recent and prospective homebuyers conducted in 2015, the study discusses how various designs influence the home purchase decision; the location, features and size of the homes consumers want and the influence of certain events and people on the decision to move to another home.

“This survey is a great resource for building professionals, as it provides an inside look at the things boomers, and other generations, are looking for in today’s homes,” said Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, and one of the study’s authors. “As the housing market continues to recover, more consumers are in the position to purchase a home, and it’s important for builders to have this knowledge about their customers.”

The study determined that many homebuyers’ preferences varied with age:

  • The majority of all buyers (65%), and boomers in particular (63%), would like to buy a single-family detached home.
  • Most homebuyers (64%) prefer a single-story home, but there is great variation by generation: Millennials (35%), Gen Xers (49%), Boomers (75%) and seniors (88%).
  • Fifty-eight percent of homebuyers want a full or partial basement, but the preference declines with age: Millennials (77%), Gen Xers (67%), Boomers (50%) and seniors (43%).
  • When asked if they would buy a home without a living room, 37% of buyers say they would, 42% would not and 21% are not sure. The share of buyers willing to part with this formal space falls steadily with age: Millennials (43%), Gen Xers (40%), Boomers (37%) and seniors (26%).
  • Few buyers (8%) or Boomers (7%) prefer a central-city location. About two-thirds prefer a home in the suburbs (close-in or outlying) and just over a quarter prefer a rural area.
  • Only 14% of buyers overall (and 13% of Boomers) are willing to pay more for a home out of pure concern for the environment.

The eBook Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation is available at ebooks.builderbooks.com