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Education and Fun for Women in Construction

The housing industry is ever-evolving, and staying informed about market trends is crucial if we want to succeed. The 2023 Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report provided valuable insights into the changing landscape of new construction home buyers.

During a recent event held by Professional Women in Building (a council of the Home Building Association of Greater Portland), Laura Regester, a National Account Representative at Zillow, shared key findings from the report with dozens of our members. We appreciated the additional insights that Laura was able to provide.

Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Insights

1. The Evolving New Construction Buyer:

  • Today's typical new construction buyer is approximately 44 years old, married or partnered, with a median income of $110,000 and a 4-year college degree. They are most likely to purchase homes in the Southern region.

  • 36% of these buyers exclusively seek new construction homes, while 35% are open to new and existing homes, provided they meet their criteria.

  • Customization has become increasingly appealing, with 35% of buyers in 2022 expressing a desire to tailor their home during construction, a 10% increase from 2021.

  • In 2023, 44% of buyers planned to purchase a completed home, while 21% were interested in homes already under construction that could still be customized.

  • The attraction to all-new communities or subdivisions has declined from 77% in 2020 to 67% in 2022, suggesting a growing preference for established neighborhoods.

2. The Digital Homebuying Experience:

  • Digital tools are gaining prominence among new construction buyers, with 43% preferring 3D virtual tours over in-person tours.

  • 85% are more inclined to view a home with an online floor plan.

  • 68% believe virtual tours offer a better sense of a home's feel than static photos.

  • In 2022, 43% of new construction buyers felt confident enough to make an offer after viewing a virtual tour, while the percentage dropped to 29% for existing home buyers.

  • 66% of new construction buyers prefer scheduling in-person tours online, streamlining the buying process.

3. Desirable Features in Homes & Neighborhoods:

  • Buyers now consider homes not just as shelter but as potential investments, with 83% of new construction buyers valuing growth potential in home value.

  • Interest in shared community amenities has grown, with 53% of buyers in 2022 expressing interest, compared to 38% in 2019.

  • Key features sought by buyers include parking, ample storage, and private outdoor spaces.

  • Energy efficiency is highly important to 77% of new construction buyers, while 61% prioritize smart home capabilities.

Key Takeaways: Laura Regester's presentation highlighted three primary takeaways from Zillow's report:

  • Customization: Modern buyers value personalization highly, seeking homes that align with their unique preferences.

  • Technology: Digital tools and smart home features are no longer conveniences but expectations in the home buying process.

  • Community: Shared amenities and a sense of community are significant in buyers' decision-making processes.

By embracing these insights, home builders can remain competitive and cater to the evolving preferences of today's discerning buyers. The presentation by Laura Regester and Zillow provided invaluable information for our members.

Encouraging Women In Leadership

We were fortunate to have Nina Carlson present to us, inspiring us with her story and knowledge. Nina is well aware of the challenges that women face in the construction industry but also recognizes the immense benefits and opportunities available for women in the field. She strongly advocates for women in the industry and supports their involvement. Her presentation sparked meaningful conversations about the evolving role of women in construction, ways to increase female participation, and the necessary support for their success.

Nina Carlson is currently responsible for NW Natural's government affairs and economic development in the metro area, focusing on energy policy, land use, and economic growth. She graduated from the University of Washington and began her career as a real estate broker, selling homes and negotiating land sales. She then expanded her career to marketing and client relations, working with various builders and managing multiple new construction communities. Since 2016, Nina has been working with jurisdictions on energy, climate, and land use issues to ensure that the region remains vibrant with plenty of housing options. She currently serves on the HBA board, chairs the HBA's Government Affairs committee, and is a member of Metro's technical advisory committee. Nina has extensive experience working on various boards and task forces around the metro area.

Fun at the Street of Dreams

We learned a lot from our amazing speakers and had fun at the event!

Thank you to all who came. Want to be part of the fun, we would love for you to become a member!

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