Survey Find Home Builders Embracing Whole-Home Networks as Standard Offering in MDUs

A recent survey from Parks Associates finds builders are starting to provide smart home-ready networking infrastructure in new developments as a standard offering.


A new Parks Associates study of home and multifamily builders in the United States that sell or install smart home technology reveals the most common technology strategy among large-scale single-family builders (LSBs) is to install a whole-home WiFi network.

The report, “MDUs, Home Builders, and Smart Home Technology,” reveals 35% of surveyed LSBs provide the networking infrastructure to provide a “smart home-ready home” for their customers. Also, 29% of LSBs install an interactive security system, which remains popular among builders.

Parks Associates surveyed large and small home and MDU (Multi-Dwelling Unit) builders throughout the U.S. that are actively involved in specifying, recommending, or installing smart home technology in their products. The research finds a majority of LSBs surveyed install WiFi routers as a standard feature, while one-third install smart speakers with voice assistants as standard.

“All builders report smart home technology is highly popular with consumers, and connected products are rapidly replacing non-connected models as standard in the home,” says Brad Russell, research director, connected home, Parks Associates.

Russell continues, “Additionally, new consumer experiences, such as the current impact of COVID-19 on working at home and the need to monitor loved ones, will increase the value proposition of smart home tech among consumers. And while the coronavirus can’t be filtered by an HVAC system, people are thinking more about indoor air quality and how to create and maintain a healthy environment for their loved ones.”

The majority of large-scale single-family home builders surveyed offer smart home technology to increase the appeal of the house and not to add to the sales price. Smart lights, thermostats, door locks, and garage door openers are typically offered as standard, while smart appliances and smart water devices are usually offered as upgrades.

“Low price points put Amazon and Google in a good position to expand further in the builder market as a control interface,” Russell says. “The low price points of their smart speaker products give builders an economical means to integrate these smart technologies as standard in their homes to boost their value among home buyers. Leading builders, such as Lennar, KB Homes, and Shea Homes, have all selected smart speakers as the user interface of choice.”

The “MDUs, Home Builders, and Smart Home Technology” report focuses on value propositions for builders and buyers and delivers insights on the drivers and barriers, business models, technology strategies, procurement and production processes, sales and marketing, and value chain partnerships that will deliver smart home solutions into new construction.

This story was originally published on our sister publication Security Sales & Integration’s website.