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What Kitchen Features Top Buyers' Wishlists?

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What Kitchen Features Top Buyers' Wishlists?


June 18, 2021
Double kitchen sink
Photo: New Africa | stock.adobe.com

Today’s homebuyers are big on having enough storage and work space in their kitchens, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition survey. Out of the 30 kitchen features the NAHB proposed to 3,247 surveyed homebuyers, side-by-side double sinks and walk-in pantries topped the list for the most desirable feature. Of those surveyed, 81% said both features were highly desirable. Other popular features are table space for eating, a central island, and drinking water filtration, and granite/natural stone countertops. 

Not far behind, three features are essential/desirable to more than two-thirds of all buyers:  recessed lighting (69 percent), customized backsplash (69 percent), and pull-out shelves (68 percent).  Overall, more than half of home buyers rated 20 of the 30 kitchen features either essential or desirable.

Millennial (born 1980 to 1996) and Gen X (born 1965 to 1979) buyers are more likely to want certain kitchen features than their Boomer (born 1946 to 1964) counterparts, by a margin of 25 percentage points in some cases.  For example, a steam oven is desirable or essential to 51 percent of Millennials and to 47 percent of Gen X buyers, but only to 19 percent of Boomers – a 32 point difference between the youngest and oldest buyers.  Likewise, considerable shares (>50 percent) of the younger two generations would be positively influenced to purchase a home if the kitchen included a trash compactor, a wine cooler, a central island with range, and a double island.  In contrast, the share of Boomers who want those features only ranges from 25 to 37 percent.  All these generational differences are statistically significant, and remain significant after controlling for the income, race, geography and household composition of the buyer.

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