A recent national survey by PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM), one of America’s largest homebuilders, found that the vast majority of consumers preferred homes with dedicated office space and increased WiFi capabilities, among other considerations, as more Americans expect to be working from home in the years ahead.
Fifty-three percent of the adult men and women surveyed prefer a dedicated home office over an additional bedroom, with another 28 percent favoring having both available. Additionally, when asked to rank the types of dedicated spaces most important to them, a home office/workspace came in first at 46 percent, followed by outdoor/yard space at 42 percent and workout/fitness space at 12 percent.
Even more significant than having space to conduct work activities is the ability to easily connect to the outside world via the Internet. When it comes to home connectivity, 74 percent of those surveyed said it is very important that homes be wired for increased WiFi capabilities and seamless connectivity throughout, with another 24 percent stating it is somewhat important.
“These survey results are consistent with what buyers are telling our sales teams in that there is a need to have the right tools to productively work from home,” said John Chadwick, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PulteGroup. “Our customer-focused home designs provide the flexible spaces, home offices and superior built-in WiFi coverage, among other standard features, that today’s homebuyers need now more than ever.”
Open, Smart and Healthy Designs
Another overwhelmingly popular feature for homebuyers is open-concept floor plans. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed prefer an open-concept floor plan, which includes a large great room space that seamlessly integrates the family room, dining room and kitchen, if they were to look for a new home today, versus only 36 percent who prefer a more traditional plan with defined rooms.
While having an open-concept floor plan, which is perfect for both entertaining and everyday living, is important, so is having a smart, healthy home as buyers are seeking solutions to mitigate the current pandemic.
When asked to rank features when buying a new home while considering the impacts of COVID-19, more than a third (35 percent) ranked enhanced WiFi capabilities as most important, followed by easy-to-clean surfaces at 29 percent. Advanced filtration systems for water and air ranked third in importance at 18 percent, with hands-free touchless appliances (nine percent), dedicated package delivery spaces (five percent) and water bottle refill stations (four percent) rounding out the final three.
“Through extensive consumer research, PulteGroup brands have a long track record of designing homes that consistently meet the unique needs of each buyer group: first time, move up and active adult,” said Chadwick. “Our consumer-inspired home designs are even more important today as homebuyers face new challenges and demands for healthier living resulting from COVID-19.”
As PulteGroup looks to the future of home designs across its brand portfolio, which includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, it will focus on six key consumer concepts:
- Health – keeping homes as healthy and virus-free as possible
- Work – space and technology for multiple adults to productively work from home
- Learn – specific, distraction-free areas for focused learning
- Gym – dedicated space for at-home workouts and equipment storage
- Play – ample indoor spaces for relaxing and outdoor areas to enjoy company while social distancing
- Storage – ability to store more necessities without giving up living space
As additional research and surveys are underway, more information to include specific design elements relating to these six concepts will be released in the coming weeks.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted in 2020 by MKM Partners Quantitative Survey Group, on behalf of PulteGroup, surveying a geographically and demographically (gender, age, household income) broad and diverse sample of 1,000 consumers across the U.S. to quantify sentiment, drivers and current status related to home ownership, preferred home design elements and features, and other related trends in the age of COVID-19.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.
For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup’s brands, go to pultegroup.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com; www.divosta.com; www.jwhomes.com; and www.americanwesthomes.com. Follow PulteGroup, Inc. on Twitter: @PulteGroupNews.