DemographicsConsumer and Home Design TrendsMaster-Planned Communities

What’s Your Strategy Today? Value Box? I Don’t think so.

May 9, 2012

Style matters more today than ever before,

According to the more than 20,000 people who took our survey this year on “What Does Style Mean to You?” Take a look at what this huge sample of consumers rated as the most important characteristics when purchasing their next home: “Home Design” rivals “Location” for the #1 position, while “Price” ranked #4.

This is not a new phenomenon. This is the second year in a row that “Home Design” ranked above “Price” for prospective new home shoppers. “Home Design” ranked #2 in our Consumer Insights 2011 study as well. However, “Price” ranked #3 last year.

The reality is that prospective shoppers have better affordability today than they have had in more than 30 years in many markets. As a result, consumers need a more compelling reason to move today than simply price. What would make you purchase a home today in a distressed market? Price might get you in the door… but design will close the deal.

The proof is in the market

In previous newsletters, we have featured communities that demonstrate the successes that prospective shoppers will move for. Here is the most recent example:

The New Home Company’s Lambert Ranch

This community is the latest and greatest story where home design has certainly impacted a community’s success. Check this out: Lambert Ranch had more than 6,000 visitors tour the community over a two-week period with 21 sales (12 contracts and 9 reservations). The first release was a sell-out!

This community and the product are a must-see, balancing price, design and location in a way that these factors all work together. The community is in Irvine, California in a great school district, and homes are priced appropriately given that; prices start from just under $900,000 and range up to $1.4 million. The land plan respects the existing place and landscape, and blends perfectly with its surroundings. Home designs include features that have not been shown in many of the predictable designs we have seen over the last decade. Many of the homes also offer an additional “lock-off” area for extended family as well. The community offers some unique configurations: A typical home in this area might be plotted on a 55′ x 85′ lot, but the home in the picture above is on an 85′ x 55′ lot with the front of the home wide along the promenade, offering a unique design element. And this is one of the more affordable homes in the community!

Know what your consumers want today and what they will pay for. Pay special attention to design that they will pay for. We surveyed more than 20,000 active home shoppers throughout the country. We can define future home and community preferences for every major MSA throughout the nation where large new home activity exists. We can also define product preferences by life stage, monthly payment, ethnicity, and various geographies.

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