Better understanding


Energy efficiency features remain tops for new home owners throughout the nation.

For the second time, the Canadian Home Builders Association has partnered with Avid Ratings Canada to create the Home Buyer Preference Survey. Avid contacted more than 3,000 recent new home-buyers from coast to coast to find out what was important to them in their purchase of a home.

The results, although not surprising, were very interesting.

When asked what type of home they would be looking for if they were in the market today, more than 95 per cent responded they would be looking for a ground-oriented home, that is, single-family detached, duplex, row or town home. This answer held consistent across the country, even in high-rise centres such as Toronto and Vancouver.

In random order, here are some additional interesting highlights from the study.

Growing families with children are the largest group buying new homes, making up 44 per cent of the market. Kitchens, with a strong preference for open-concept designs and islands, topped the list for importance. Storage spaces have become must-have features. These include walk-in closets, linen closets, pantries and two-car garages.

Noting this is a national survey, energy-efficiency features once again flooded the ranks of the top 10. Respondents were very interested in lowering their monthly utility costs. When asked what they would pay to lower these bills by $100 per month, 58 per cent said they were willing to spend an extra $3,000 to $5,000. Another 22 per cent said that they would pay up to $10,000.

I would imagine many of these respondents were from Ontario where hydro costs have skyrocketed recently. I have heard from some people who tell me they spend more on utilities for four months in their summer cottage in Ontario than the other eight months in their home in Manitoba.

Affordability remains a huge issue for new home-buyers. Many are willing to make various concessions to gain access into the market. If affordability was a problem, 22 per cent said they would be willing to move into a slightly smaller house while 18 per cent would opt for a longer commute.

The first resource used by new home-buyers is the show home. I found this refreshing on a national basis, as no other area features a Parade of Homes of the magnitude we enjoy here. I would imagine the numbers to be considerably higher within Manitoba.

The 2016 Fall Parade of Homes opens Saturday, Sept. 10, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2. Watch for more details in the Winnipeg Free Press.

By: Mike Moore for the Winnipeg Free Press  Source: