Analyzing the Trendiest Home Features

In the search for that perfect home, what are some of the make or break factors swaying prospective buyers to make the investment in a new home? Are there any factors turning them off? New data from Agent Advice examines the most demanded home features and interior design trends nationwide, gauged by searches made by prospective home buyers.

Data compiled by Agent Advice may surprise you as homes that include ceiling fans were found to be the most popular home feature in the U.S., attracting an average of 68.5 monthly Google searches per 100,000 of the population. This is good news for the reported 70% of U.S. households with ceiling fans (according to the Energy Information Administration); however, it suggests that properties lacking ceiling fans may prove a dealbreaker for prospective buyers who do not plan on installing their own.

Most searched design features

Coming in second place are homes that include a kitchen island, with an average of 61.7 monthly searches per 100k residents. This may be due to practical benefits such as more storage space and extra countertop space, and their appeal to fans of a farmhouse aesthetic.

Ranking third most worthwhile feature for prospective sellers to invest in is solar panels, attracting an average of 56.5 searches per 100k residents each month. Solar panels reduce electricity bills, benefit the environment, and increase a home’s overall value, with demand rising due to an increased focus on sustainability. According to a report from Zillow, homes with solar energy systems sell for around 4.1% more than those without.

Rounding out the most coveted features were quartz countertops (48.2 average monthly searches per 100k), vinyl flooring (43.4), a stackable washer and dryer (38.5), granite countertops (33.3), hardwood flooring (29.09), a farmhouse sink (24.7), and skylights (22.0).

“It’s positive that the most coveted home feature is ceiling fans, as many homes are already equipped with these-and they’re fairly easy to install yourself if you don’t already have them fitted,” said Chris Heller, Co-Founder of Agent Advice. “Other desirable upgrades that shouldn’t prove too intensive include adding a gallery wall, hanging up some plants, and incorporating earth tones over bright or pastel colors.”

Least desired design features

On the other end of the scale, the study found that the home features prospective homebuyers were least swayed by were a freestanding bath (0.3 monthly searches per 100k residents), ceramic flooring (0.49 searches per 100k), and a master suite (0.56 searches per 100k).

Ranking the most searched-for interior designs

The data reveals that the most attractive interior design element was a framed TV, which is when a picture frame is placed around the screen so that still images look like framed art. They are particularly popular on TikTok and are searched for an average of 26.9 searches monthly (per 100k).

TikTok also played a role in the popularity of the second most design element, as disco balls attracted 21 monthly searches per 100k residents. Statement pendant lights were also sought-after, with an average of 18.8 searches made each month.

Minimalism came in fourth with 18.8 search, rounded out by neon signs at 15.6 to round out the top five.

This was followed by an accented wall with an average of 15.4 searches monthly (per 100k) ranking sixth, Hanging Plants in seventh (11.7), Farmhouse Decor at number eight (9.5)’ wallpaper murals in ninth (8.3), and a gallery wall rounding out the top 10 (8.2).

Pastel furniture was among the least popular design choices over the last year, with just 0.09 monthly searches made per 100k. And despite being a new trend in 2023, scalloped furniture hasn’t struck a chord with homebuyers, with just 0.1 monthly searches.

What will enhance sales?

As well as looking at which home features and design trends dominated searches in 2023, the data also identifies which see a surge in interest over spring (March, April, May), which is generally regarded as the best time of year to sell a property.

Demand for skylights increases by 11% at this time of year, rising from an average of 22 searches monthly per 100k residents to 24.4 searches. This may be because the additional daylight spring brings prompts homebuyers to prioritize natural lighting more than before.

Neutral-toned decor saw a slight drop in demand in spring compared to the rest of the year, decreasing from an average of 1 monthly search per 100k residents to just 0.9 (a 10% decrease) – perhaps because homebuyers want pops of color to match the springtime.

“While prospective buyers will unlikely expect your house to fit their wants perfectly, making these small changes can help them envision the property as their next home and help you stand out in what will likely be a very competitive market this year,” added Heller. “The same goes for landlords or Airbnb owners looking to increase interest on a short-term scale.”

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Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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