We teamed with 24 national builder/developers and a national Realtor group to complete the most comprehensive home buying consumer survey we know about. In total, 9,694 potential home buyers from 43 states took our 54 question survey. The findings are being analyzed by region and will be available for purchase in November. The results vary significantly by geography and household profile, but here are a few conclusions that rang true nationally:
- Location and Home Style / Design are Far More Important than Price – only 17% said price was most important.
- Choose Your Amenities Carefully – 78% of buyers are considering communities with homeowners associations, and provided very specific feedback on which amenities they valued. The values varied by region and household composition. This confirmed for us that targeted, localized Consumer Research will help you spend your amenity dollars wisely to create a competitive advantage over others.
- Prefer New But Competing With Resale – 70% would prefer a new home, but 73% said they are considering resale homes as well. While our survey was skewed heavily to a sample size that had visited a new home community, the consumers reminded us that we have to give them a great reason to buy new over resale.
- $5,000 for Green, but not so Fast! – 73% are willing to pay $5,000 or more for a home with energy-efficient features, but they will spend their dollars on the right flooring and countertops before they will pay for energy-efficiency.
- Little Urgency – Only 16% are so dissatisfied with their current home that they feel the need to move soon, but 55% are looking to move soon if they find the right opportunity. Survey your interest list to understand their “right opportunity” and create the opportunity!
In my 20+ years of experience surveying consumers for such great companies as The Irvine Company, Pulte and Lennar, it has never been easier to conduct great Consumer Research. Consumers want a voice today. I would also add that there has never been a greater need for consumer research or the need to start listening to “their voice”. Help make a difference today by understanding first what consumers want, what they are willing and able to pay for today, and what we can do to make a difference during today’s challenging market.
As we pull out of the Great Recession, our industry has the fantastic opportunity to create new homes and communities that are in high demand by providing new opportunities that cannot be met by today’s resale markets. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to make a difference today. Please join our team by understanding market conditions, consumer trends, and where the next best niche opportunities exist in the market today…and make it happen!
We look forward to sharing more with you as our results unfold over the next several weeks…Do they want to buy? Is the economy stopping them? Is it fear for their jobs? What will make consumers move today? Stay tuned!