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What Homebuyers Want in Summer Features

Monday, June 25, 2018

From Builder magazine

A new analysis from realtor.com shows homes with amenities geared toward summer activities have major appeal for buyers. In fact, homes with summer features are often listed with at least 10% higher prices than similar homes in the same state.

In rank order, the summer features correlated with highest price per square foot when compared to similar homes without that feature include: outdoor showers with a 97% price per square foot premium, barbecues with a 26% premium, entertainers pool or spa with a 26% boost, fire pits or outdoor fireplaces with a 25% jump, and zoned sprinklers that offer a 21% lift.

“Buyers love special features that enable them to get the most out of the summer months, and are willing to pay more for a home that has them, according to our analysis,” said Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for realtor.com.

Realtor.com looked for common summer-related terms in listings of single-family homes listed for $150,000+ that appeared on realtor.com in May 2018.

Outdoor showers are highly desirable when it comes to summer features. Mentions of them are associated with the largest listing-price premiums of any feature analyzed. This is probably, in part, because they typically indicate waterfront property or extra amenities.

Homes with outdoor showers tend to list for nearly double the asking price per square foot of other homes. In some states, the added value is even more pronounced: In New York, homes with an outdoor shower list for 256% more per square foot than other for-sale homes. Massachusetts has by far the largest proportion of active listings featuring outdoor showers, at 8.9%.

The most popular summer-fun listing feature is a barbecue grill. Barbecues are mentioned in nearly 9.6% of U.S. listings, and are most popular in Arizona and California where they appear in 15.8 and 9.5% of listings, respectively.

Homes with barbecues are 26% more expensive than similar homes without them. Buyers in just about every state can expect to pay more for homes with this feature, with Utah homes mentioning barbecues listing for 58% more per square foot than the typical home in the state.

On average, homes that offer fireplaces and fire pits are priced 25% higher than similar listed homes in their area. They're most popular in Indiana where 7.2% of all listings mention them. Following closely behind are North Carolina, Idaho, and California, each with proportions above 5%.

Homes that offer pools with space for friends and family to hang out nearby – known as an “entertainer's pool” -- are listed 26% higher than similar homes without the feature. New York sees the largest gains in price per square foot, at 224%, effectively tripling the price of homes associated with this major backyard feature.

Entertainer pools are most popular in Florida, where they were mentioned in more than 3% of listings. California, Arizona, and Hawaii follow closely, with mentions in just over 2% of listings.

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