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Young Home Buyers Show Interest in Smart-Home Tech

December 18, 2020

Tout those smart-home features in listings. More than a third of young Americans say they’re more interested in smart-home tech for safety and security, energy efficiency, and entertainment and relaxation since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from realtor.com®.

Overall, a quarter of Americans say they’re more interested in smart-home technology now that they’re spending more time at home. Forty-one percent of smart-home technology owners say they’ve bought at least one device since the coronavirus outbreak began. The interest has been highest among 18- to 34-year-olds, according to realtor.com® and YouGov, which surveyed more than 2,000 Americans earlier this month to learn their thoughts on smart-home technology.

“The survey results show that many Americans, especially younger people, are leveraging smart-home technologies to enhance their quality of life, even more so now that most of us reshaped our homes into live, work, learn, and play spaces,” said George Ratiu, realtor.com®’s senior economist. “In a year defined by a global pandemic, and fraught with civil unrest and economic volatility, it’s not surprising that people are prioritizing the safety and security of their home, their finances, and having a comfortable place to relax and unwind.”

Indeed, security-related smart-home products topped consumers’ lists. Survey respondents said smart-home features that could even make new homes more desirable include a smart doorbell with a camera and a high-tech security system. About 21% of respondents also said they’d be willing to pay more for a home with a high-tech security system or a smart doorbell with a camera.

Some additional highlights from the survey:

  • When respondents were asked to select just one smart-home feature to add to their home, the majority chose a high-tech security system.
  • More than half—or 57%—of all consumers surveyed and 61% of those 18- to 34-year-olds already own some smart home technology. The most common products owned are smart TVs, smart-home speakers, smart doorbells, robot vacuums, and connected climate control systems and smart thermostats.
  • On energy efficiency preferences, consumers said a feature that would make a new home more desirable would be solar roof tiles, a home battery pack to store solar energy, and standalone solar panels.
  • On entertainment, 26% of consumers said a high-tech home theater and 18% said TVs that pop up out of dressers or drop down from the ceiling are features they say would make a new home more desirable.
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