Whether you’re selling your own home or staging a home for your seller, paying attention to industry trends can go a long way toward ensuring a fast and successful sale.
Each year, Fixr—a company that creates remodeling cost guides–polls industry influencers to find out what the top trends are within the building industry. Following up on our 2018 Home Trends to Guide Your Staging post, we’re bringing you the highlights of the full report that includes the complete results from Fixr’s single-family home trends survey.
By incorporating any of the following trends into the home you are selling, you can help ensure that it will appeal to a wider audience and help increase the chances of a fast sale for maximum ROI.
Gen Xers Lead the Shift Toward the Higher Income Group
When it comes to whom is driving the market right now, most of the influencers responding felt that Gen Xers are leading the way, while Millennials follow with the second largest share at 34 percent. And of those buyers, respondents feel that the most common income brackets will be in the $75,00 to $99,999 range and the $100,000 to $149,999–with both coming in at 27 percent.
Home Size Trends and Location
Current home size trends are falling according to U.S. Census data, and 21 percent of respondents also feel that people may begin downsizing as well. Homes measuring at about 1,100 square feet are beginning to surge in popularity. However, at the same time, 61 percent of respondents agree that the most popular size of home that people are looking for remains in the larger bracket at around 2,150 square feet.
This shift toward downsizing in properties may correlate to a trend in location, as 50 percent of influencers felt that homebuyers are looking at properties in urban areas.
Suburbs also get a moderate percentage of buyers, which lines up with the National Association of REALTORS®’ Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report (the report shows results for purchase and sale of existing homes).
Keep in mind, though, that while more average sizes for homes are the most popular, many influencers feel that there will be an increase in the tiny house movement as well. More than half of respondents report seeing an uptick in homeowners wanting a smaller home. Minimalist lifestyles and a focus on travel were the two most common answers given as to why.
Open Floor Plans Continue to Grow in Popularity
While there isn’t a lot you can change about a house’s location or size to appeal to a wider audience, one thing that you can do to increase appeal is to open up the floor plan. Open floor plans have been trending for the last few years, and they are only continuing to grow in popularity, with 76 percent of influencers responding that they see it as a popular option for the years ahead.
To confirm this, the National Association of Home Builders has reported that more than 80 percent of new home builders are creating at least a partially open floor plan as well. An open floor plan automatically includes wider passageways and turning radiuses, which can open the home up to more potential buyers too.
Green and Energy Efficient Design
Green and energy efficient homes rank very closely to one another at 21 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively. Combined, nearly 40 percent of respondents say these are the features more buyers would like to see, coming in just behind more smart home tech.
Green building designs are continuing to increase in popularity, particularly those that can decrease energy bills over the long term. This includes solar energy, which has a current growth rate of nearly 105 percent, increased use of natural light in home design, and the use of recycled materials in any upgrade or design feature added to the house.
Homeowners most want to see Energy Star Rated appliances and home automation to help lower energy bills and increase the sustainability of the home.
The Great Outdoor Design Improves Curb Appeal
Never underestimate the power of good landscaping. Not only does it account for as much as 28 percent of a home’s value, but most influencers say that adding a backyard garden or porch (34 percent and 32 percent, respectively) are what homeowners are looking for most.
Patios also rank highly when it comes to the popular use of existing outdoor space, with 39 percent of respondents answering that they feel this would be a popular addition to most homes. The infographic below shows influencers’ answers to the most popular use of existing outdoor space for single-family homes.
This makes particular sense when you consider that younger buyers–Gen X and Millennials–make up the biggest segment of the market. These buyers are most likely to have families that will need the outdoor space, while Millennials feel strongly that people need to spend time outside.
Home Safety and Automation
In the wake of so many natural disasters, more homeowners are taking safety into account when considering upgrades to their homes. Fifty percent of influencers feel that a backup generator will be a popular addition to most homes, while fire alarms and sprinkler systems come in second place.
When considering making safety upgrades, keep in mind that for every dollar spent, you will save $4 after the fact, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences. This makes safety upgrades a very worthwhile investment in any home.
As voice controlled automation continues to grow—like with devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home–a whopping 82 percent of influencers feel that artificial intelligence will be added to the majority of homes in 2018.
Making the home ready for smart home upgrades, such as including smart plugs, lights, and locks means that buyers can integrate their system right into the home on day one. It’s a growing feature that more buyers are finding attractive.
By paying attention to what most homeowners and home buyers are looking for, you can make more strategic decisions for selling homes in 2018. Use these and other data from Fixr’s 2018 trend report to get more out of every sale.
To learn about the cost of household remodeling projects, visit the Cost Guides.