Houzz: First-Time Buyers Want More Smart Home Tech

It’s official. A recent Houzz survey finds that first-time home buyers and millennials are more likely than any other group to prioritize smart home technology in new houses and renovations.


Houzz recently surveyed first-time home buyers, specifically millennials, to find out what’s top of their wish list when buying or renovating a new home. Of the 100,000 people surveyed for the Houzz & Home report, over a quarter of respondents said smart-home technology is very important to them. 

The report showed that first-time home buyers are more likely to prioritize the integration of smart technology during a renovatoin than repeat buyers and long-term homeowners. One-third of recent home buyers are investing in home automation (33 percent) compared to 16 percent of long-term owners.

And while this particular study did not indicate if buyers are more apt to install their own technology or hire a pro, the survey did reveal that 87% of consumers do hire pros in general for their remodeling projects. [NOTE: Clarified erroneous statistic on DIY home technology.]

Read: On Millennials, DIY, Smart Homes, Professional Installation, IoT Things

Interesting data points from the Houzz survey:

  • First-time home buyers were willing to spend more in 2016 on home renovation projects than ever before. They spent $33,800 on average, which is 22 percent more than in 2015.
  • For 2017, Houzz respondents say they plan to spend an average of $27,300 on renovations, a four percent increase from planned renovation spending in 2016.
  • Respondents indicate that their projects involve four rooms on average.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms, which continue to command the lion’s share of renovation spend, are significantly more likely to be renovated that any other room of the home.
  • The average investment in living spaces increased 11 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, including living/family rooms ($5,400), dining rooms ($2,600, and guest bedrooms ($1,900). Master bedroom spend increased 23 percent ($3,400). Renovation investment in laundry rooms is up 24 percent, averaging $2,800.
  • Investments in kitchen and bath renovation, meanwhile, remained relatively flat ($19,100 for kitchen and $11,700 for master baths).

“Younger and cash-constrained first-time buyers are responding to the low inventory of affordable homes by purchasing properties that require more than just cosmetic upgrades,” says Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Not surprisingly, we are seeing their spend on home renovations increasingly significantly in 2016 and expect this trend to continue through 2017.”

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.