The National Association of Home Builders recently released their 2019 report on home trends and buyer preferences. Somewhat unsurprisingly it revealed that buyers could live without elevators, wine cellars, plant-covered rooftops and pet washing stations in their new homes. But what did the 4000 people surveyed say was the most important feature they were looking for? A good laundry room. Behind that in popularity were energy efficient windows and appliances, outdoor patios and ceiling fans.

The report also looked at other statistics. When asked about desired location, 64% of shoppers said they want to live in the suburbs. That preference, according to Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist, is because they “offer a better possibility of getting a larger home—necessary for growing families.” Next in popularity is rural areas, 24%, while only 11% wish to live in cities. 

As for type of dwelling, the single-family home is preferred by 77% of buyers, with 13% opting for townhouses and 4% each for condos/ apartments and manufactured homes. Though no matter where they live, they want to be close to restaurants and shopping options.

More buyers are wanting an area dedicated to addressing their soiled clothes, but other areas of the home are important too. Remodeling their kitchen is at the top of the list for many homeowners. “Kitchens will continue to be the hub of the home” and owners are spending a lot of money to make them a “showpiece,” says Nino Sitchinava, chief economist at Houzz. 

According to research, the transitional-style kitchen is the hottest right now. Which blends traditional concepts with more modern components. Other popular styles are contemporary, which Sitchinava says integrates "a pop of slightly more industrial features,” and the farmhouse style made popular in part by shows on HGTV. Remodelers have also been opening kitchens to the outdoors more frequently using large windows and glass doors.

Many homeowners are opting for ceramic and porcelain tile floors, but hardwood, engineered wood, vinyl and laminate are all chosen frequently. Stone countertops are still very popular but engineered quartz has surpassed granite as number one because of its durability, despite the price tag. White cabinets are “in”, but homeowners are more often selecting creamy, off-white shades. Though more traditional wood cabinets are still highly desired. 

Another hot trend is redoing the master bathroom to create a more luxurious private retreat. Contemporary style bathrooms are still number one, but farmhouse and traditional looks are not far behind. According to Houzz research more people are updating cabinets, fixtures and colors in ways that complement the bedroom. Some are even removing the doors and opening the space to create one continuous room. Though Sitchinava did add that there is usually still a small toilet room for some measure of privacy.