Home builders need to keep a sharp eye on homebuyer preferences to make sure what they are offering matches what people want. Now that we’re halfway through 2018, real estate industry insiders are making predictions on what to expect in home trends for the rest of the year.
While open floor plans continue to be the preferred layout for homes, buyers are also anticipated to focus more on smart home features and green features this year, according to the 2018 Single-family Home Trends Report from Fixr.com, a site that provides information about home improvement projects and costs. Fixr’s survey of industry professionals found that 25 percent say homebuyers are looking for smart home features and 14 percent say they are looking for more eco-friendly features.
Design themes for builders
Thirty-nine percent of builders say they will build "green homes" and "energy-efficient homes." When asked which green features builders intend to apply, solar energy ranked highest:
- Solar energy: 34 percent of builders will use
- Natural light: 26 percent
- Recycled materials: 18 percent
- Water conservation: 13 percent
- Thermal flooring: 8 percent
- Passive solar design: 5 percent
Safety and home automation features
Natural disasters unfortunately dominated much of the news in 2017, leading some homeowners to consider special safety features in their new homes or as part of a home improvement project. Every $1 spent on mitigation measures ahead of a disaster saves $4 down the road, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences, so this makes these investments particularly valuable. By far the most popular choice is a back-up generator, which 50 percent of builders say will be the most requested this year. Other safety features include fire sprinklers and alarms (26 percent), insulation (16 percent), hurricane and storm shutters (five percent) and a sump pump (three percent).