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Study: Consumers Want Smart Home Tech in New Homes, But Don’t Want to Pay

KB Home/Kwikset study gauges consumer interest in which new technologies they want in a newly built home. Connected door locks, security cameras lead the way. Perceived expense is still highest barrier.

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There’s good and bad news resonating from a recent study of consumers revealing which amenities they want in a newly constructed home.

The study, conducted by research firm IMRE on behalf of national builder KB Home and door-lock-maker Kwikset, reveals two-thirds of consumers want smart home products in their newly constructed homes, with nearly half (45 percent) willing to spend an additional $5,000 or more to incorporate smart products. Read the complete findings here. 

Good News

On the plus side, among the key positive findings from the study are:

  • Across the board, almost all smart technologies are hot, including security, thermostats, video surveillance, connected garage doors, LED lighting and home audio. Overall, there is a 26 percent increase in smart product adoption in new homes compared to January 2015, the last time the study was conducted. Smart locks, in particular, had the highest leap, with a 180 percent jump in actual usage from January 2015 (10 percent of new homes vs. 28 percent). 
  • 49 percent of respondents are interested or very interested in smart home products.
  • Security (85 percent) was listed as the third most-important feature named that impacted the purchasing decision, behind only the exterior style of the home (90 percent) and interior upgrades (89 percent).
  • 64 percent of respondents said they would be “likely” or “very likely” to include smart home products in a newly constructed home.
  • 52 percent of consumers prefer to purchase a “custom, centrally monitored system that is professionally installed.”
  • 26 percent of respondents actually already paid a professional to install their system.
  • 42 percent of consumers believe smart home products are too complicated for the average homeowner to install on his or her own.

Bad News

Here are the findings that are not so good for integrators:

  • Nearly one out of every five homebuyers (19 percent) said they would be willing to pay “nothing” for smart home amenities. Another 36 percent said they would not spend more than $5,000 for home automation features.
  • Homeowners who are technophobes plan to stay that way. Currently, 61 percent of prospective buyers say they have no smart-home products and almost all of them (95 percent of those who have nothing) do not plan on buying connected technology products of any time.
  • 48 percent of homebuyers say they “would prefer a DIY approach.”
  • 66 percent of consumers say they have stand-alone home technology.
  • 75 percent of respondents do not have a centralized interface.
  • 41 percent believe that all smart home products require a monthly fee.
  • Only 46 percent of consumers believe that smart home products will “make their life considerably more convenient.” Likewise, only two-thirds (66 percent) believe smart home products will make a home more energy efficient.
  • 69 percent of respondents declare that smart home products “are too expensive.”
  • 11 percent believe the smart home “is a fad.”

In the study, there are clear demarcations set between homeowners who already own smart home products vs. those who do not.

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