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Fifty-six percent of homebuyers surveyed would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to gain a larger yard, according to a 2017 consumer survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Taylor Morrison.

Home Buyers Increasingly Willing to Sacrifice Square Footage to Outdoor Space

Monday, August 21, 2017

Taylor Morrison is out with a study that says 56% of homebuyers surveyed by Wakefield Research would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to obtain a bigger yard, according to a consumer survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Taylor Morrison (NYSE: TMHC).

The survey also found the most important exterior feature of a home is distance from neighboring homes. Both Millennials (48%) and non-Millennials (53%) believe this breathing room is key, beating other curb appeal elements such as siding, driveway styles, exterior paint color and roofing finishes.

Urban side setbacks (the space between buildings) are traditionally forgotten about, but at Taylor Morrison Treo community in Scottsdale, Ariz., this space is an efficient side-yard for entertaining and pets.

“Demand for more elaborate exterior space continues to rise, and blending indoor-outdoor living to address customer preferences is critical to our success,” said Sheryl Palmer, Taylor Morrison chairman, president and CEO. “At a time when land prices are escalating and local approvals can force smaller lot sizes, Taylor Morrison creatively maximizes limited areas – especially in urban locations – making the entire living experience that much more enjoyable.”

Features such as outdoor living rooms, floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls that open to the backyard, and matching tile flooring that extends from a home's interior to its exterior are helping to create a seamless flow in today's outdoor-oriented homes.

Homebuyers today are interested in indoor areas that flow seamlessly outside, using sliding glass walls, and matching floor materials that flow from inside to outside patio areas. Photo: Sea Summit community by Taylor Morrison, in San Clemente, Calif.

Interest in more outdoor space is stronger among women than it is men, with roughly two in three women (62%) preferring less home square footage and larger yards, compared to a little more than half (51%) of men. Survey results suggest more yard is a consistent desire across parents and non-parents alike, as well as across generations.

Taylor Morrison shopper surveys also reveal an increasing desire for enjoying the backyard. When asked what home shoppers would spend an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on in their new homes, outdoor living items topped the list over features such as upgraded cabinets and kitchen islands.

“Outdoor living is no longer an afterthought to a home's construction,” said Charlie Enochs, Taylor Morrison area president for the central region. “In some of our largest markets such as Austin, Dallas and Houston, we just introduced nine new floor plan series, all of which have blurred the hard line between the inside and out to meet the blended indoor-outdoor living trend head-on.”

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