NAHB: Buyers most likely to seek laundry rooms

A place to clean clothing was a top consideration among most home buyers, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders. More than nine out of 10 buyers said a laundry room would be either an essential or desirable feature in their next residence.

The finding was included in NAHB's annual "What Home Buyers Really Want" report. The organization surveyed almost 4,000 people who either recently purchased a home or plan to do so in the next three years, asking them to rate 175 features based on how important they were in choosing a home. Respondents were able to say that a feature was essential or must-have, that it was desirable, that they were indifferent to the feature, or that they did not want the feature.

Ninety-one percent of respondents said they were interested in a laundry room in their next home. This share included 54 percent who said a laundry room was essential, making it the feature with the highest share of respondents rating it as a must-have.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said Energy Star rated windows were essential or desirable, along with 87 percent who were interested in a patio and 86 percent who wanted Energy Star rated appliances. Eighty-five percent rated a ceiling fan as essential or desirable, and the same share was interested in garage storage and exterior lighting.

Ceiling fans had the second highest share of respondents naming it as a must-have feature at 45 percent. Forty-two percent said a double kitchen sink was essential.

NAHB said the popularity of Energy Star-related features, including 81 percent who expressed interest in an Energy Star rated whole home, shows that home buyers are particularly interested in energy efficiency. Forty-six percent said they would be willing to pay an average of $1,000 to $9,999 more for a home if they could save $1,000 a year on utilities, while 37 percent said they would pay $10,000 or more.

Eighty-three percent said they were interested in a walk-in pantry, while the same share said hardwood flooring was essential or desirable. Eighty-one percent said they would like a double kitchen sink in their next home.

The survey also looked at a number of other topics, including top choices for a home's location and finishes. Suburbs continued to have the largest draw, with 64 percent of respondents saying this would be their preferred neighborhood. Nearly one in four millennials—23 percent—said they would like to buy a home in a central city.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said they would want their kitchen and dining room to be partially or completely open. Among finishes, stainless steel appliances were the most desired feature with 67 percent saying they would like them in their kitchen.

NAHB said some other increasingly popular trends identified by respondents included farmhouse styles, engineered quartz, vinyl and resilient flooring, wireless controls, and high-end bathroom fixtures.

Laminate kitchen countertops and high-density developments were identified as the least desirable features among respondents, with 46 percent naming them as essential or desirable. Other less popular amenities included a two-story family room, golf course community, and cork flooring.

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