The Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report for 2020 had big changes from the data reported in 2019. New construction (NC) buyers that were surveyed for the 2020 report revealed that they spent less time looking for a home because they focused only on a new construction home. The report showed that 23% more NC buyers found their home in less than four weeks. In fact, the average new construction buyer spends only two months searching for a newly built home.
More and more home buyers are desiring a new construction home now more than ever. Builders are marketing off this change by adding incentives such as free builder upgrades. In 2019 9% of NC buyers said free builder upgrades was one of the top three of their reasons for buying new construction while in 2020 14% cited this as one of their motivators.
The top reasons for purchasing a certain home are still location and home features but following close behind now is the desire to purchase a new home that has never been lived in or used. Buyers want to be able to customize their home features and choose their own floor plan. Thirty-percent of NC buyers cited one of their top reasons for purchasing a newly built house was because it was the best value for their money.
New construction buyers are now focusing on less square footage. More NC buyers (9%) in 2020 purchased small homes which were 6 percentage points higher than in 2019. Small homes are homes that are less than 1,000 square feet. The data also informed that 19% of NC buyers paid less than $100,000 for their home in 2020 while only 9% were reported in 2019. Zillow feels that the shift might be because more new construction is being built in urban areas or that home builders are offering more options in smaller homes.
There was also a shift in home feature preferences in NC buyers in 2020. These include rental income, smart technology and space for cars. It became important to 32% of new construction buyers that they could generate rental income by renting out the whole home compared to 23% who said this was important in 2019. Smart home technologies are also becoming the norm. More and more people are becoming comfortable with devices that control things such as security or temperature control. Forty-three percent of NC buyers say that smart home capabilities are very important. Cars are also important to Americans, in fact so important, that 74% of NC buyers have to have off-street parking or a garage and 67% have to have an assigned parking space. Zillow says this probably stems from the higher rate of new construction in urban areas.
The new construction housing market is starved for inventory so if you are in the market, choosing a Realtor is a must. A Realtor can help you find the best home for you and your needs.