Homebuyers are favoring ranch homes over all other styles, according to Realtor.com’s Active Spring Home Shoppers Report. In the survey, 42% of buyers selected ranch houses, followed by contemporary styles (28%), Craftsman (23%) and Colonial (20%). Twenty-nine percent said they had no style preference.
Among shoppers’ top homeownership goals, privacy led the way, driven by buyers over the age of 45. This was followed by meeting family needs and maintaining stability, both of which millennials and those in the 35-to-44 age bracket, in particular, prioritized.
Home shoppers also indicated a preference for homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. And they are seeking a backyard, a garage and an up-to-date kitchen. Younger respondents showed a greater desire for townhouses and rowhouses — common starter homes — while older shoppers leaned toward detached single-family properties.
Though some of the results of the Realtor.com survey may not come as a surprise — such as the appeal of outdoor living and a desire for a modern kitchen — the indicators of a trend toward more modest home sizes across a single level defies some predictions of continued growth in home size.
Realtor.com’s findings on millennials are consistent with a recent Bank of America study that found that younger shoppers are content with buying a home they can afford now as a first step toward purchasing their ideal home later.
Offering smaller homes is one way to attract millennials, Inman reported, in part for their smaller carbon footprint. This age group is also looking for a central location in their community, along with smart-home features, open floor plans and enough space for a home office or alcove.
The ranch trend may also include the luxury market, with multi-car garages, kitchens fitted with high-end appliances, outdoor kitchens, touch-less faucets and heated toilet seats as popular offerings in this segment.
When answering the call for backyards, don’t leave it all grass, avoid overly orderly landscape layouts and stay away from extra-bright lighting, according to a separate report from Realtor.com.
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