What Homebuyers Want: Practicality and Energy Savings

What’s the key to today’s homebuyer’s heart? Well, move over hardwood floors, granite countertops, mudrooms, and media rooms, and kiss living rooms and formal dining rooms goodbye. Welcome energy efficiency and a good layout.

According to a recent study, more than 40 per cent of Canadians look for energy efficiency over a home with updated finishes such as stone countertops and stainless appliances. Slightly more than a fifth say they’d opt for trendy furnishings when looking for a home.

Age matters. While downsizing baby boomers express the most concern over energy efficiency, millennials – who currently represent the largest group of potential homebuyers – remain interested in some cosmetic features such as original hardwood floors.

When choosing a home, the layout of the house is most important to more than a quarter of Canadian buyers, even more so than a desirable location or proximity to work. Today’s buyers will also be looking for larger laundry rooms and eat-in kitchens and, as in the past, the master suite is still popular with buyers across North America.

Most homebuyers, although they look for space, might need to downsize their expectations, particularly in large urban centres across the country. Homebuilders are now thinking small, as the amount of land available for development is shrinking. And it’s having spin-off effects; already the teeny tiny condo has sparked a wave of multi-functional condo-sized furniture, and the living room is predicted to disappear in favour of open-concept great rooms that encompass family rooms, eat-in kitchens and even offices.