STUDY: Do People Actually Want ‘Trendy’ Products in Their Homes?

There are tons of options for homebuilding products with trendy features like smart technology. But do people actually want them in their homes?

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What are ‘Trendy’ Products?

Has homebuilding gotten more complicated over the last ten years? It can seem like it at times, and not because someone invented some radical new way to build homes. Instead, the complication comes from the rise in popularity of what are considered “trendy products”.

As trends such as smart home automation, accessibility, and being environmentally friendly gain momentum, the amount of products catering to those trends has increased. In theory, it makes perfect sense that someone having a new home built would want that home to be full of the latest technology-packed and environmentally-conscious products.

But is that actually the case?

A study from the Home Improvement Research Institute asked construction professionals who work in the residential sector a series of questions in an attempt to find out how prevalent “trendy” products are in modern homebuilding. The study shows that while products catering towards trends have seen a sizable uptick in popularity, there is still a long way to go before homeowners are constantly demanding the latest trend or are willing to pay top dollar to get them. Here’s a deeper breakdown of the survey results.

Which Trends are Most Popular?

The HIRI survey broke down the topic of “trendy products” into three main categories:

  • Smart home/ automation: “Goods that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon the environment whether in their production, use, or disposal.”
  • Green/ environmentally friendly: “A residence equipped with lighting, heating, and other electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone, voice, or computer.”
  • Aging in place/ accessibility: “Aging in place is when a person stays in their same residence as they get older, while accessibility is the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities.”

Of the three categories, the construction professionals surveyed said that they see “green/ environmentally friendly” products most frequently, followed by “aging in place/ accessibility” and then “smart home/ automation”. A likely reason for the prevalence of green and environmentally friendly products is that they provide the most perceived benefits by creating energy savings, using non-toxic materials, and lowering environmental emissions both during installations and while in use.

The survey group also reported that in the last year there has been a slight increase in projects that use products from one of these categories. Pros who have seen trendy products in the course of their work say that about a quarter of their projects involve one.

Are People Paying More for Trends?

So trendy products are growing more popular with each year, but are people willing to pay a premium to get them? It depends on how much it will cost them. Forty-two percent of the survey group said that their clients would be “willing to pay a little more” for a product in one of these categories, while just 10 percent said their clients would be “willing to pay much more”.

Interestingly, while the pros surveyed said that their clients would be most willing to pay a little more for green/ environmentally friendly products, they would be most willing to pay much more for smart/ home automation products. This seems to indicate that while green products are the most popular, people are more inclined to pay top dollar for something that has a technological benefit.

What Does This Mean for Homebuilders?

Trendy products are growing in popularity and people are starting to show a willingness, if not an enthusiasm, to get them in their new homes. If you’re a contractor looking to provide their clients with a home built with the latest and greatest in new materials and tech, keep an eye on places like trade magazines, manufacturers and social media. Regularly checking these sources for new information and product releases will enable you to build the best homes possible.

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