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What traits maximize home value increases?

Posted by Stéphanie Carles on 5 May 2017
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A home’s value generally appreciates 3 percent to 4 percent every year, which is attributed mostly to population growth and inflation. In 2016, however, homeowners saw appreciation jump to an average of 6.3 percent.

What traits lead some homes to appreciate more than others?

What traits boost a home’s value even more – and what features buyers may be willing to pay more to have. An analysis from millions of listings on realtor.com to calculate the annual price growth rate of homes by features from 2011 to 2016.

Winners in housing appreciation

Small homes: Homes smaller than 1,200 square feet appreciated by an average rate 7.5 percent a year for the past five years. On the other hand, larger homes of 2,400 square feet or more rose by 3.8 percent a year. The smaller-home demand is being driven by millennials wanting to enter the market with a more affordable starter home and baby boomers looking to downsize. In addition, smaller homes are in shorter supply, which is prompting prices to increase more due to the high demand, says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm.

Two-bedroom homes: Homes with two bedrooms appreciate at a rate of 6.6 percent a year, compared to homes with five bedrooms that appreciate at 4.3 percent a year.

Open floor plans: Homes with open floor plans appreciate 7.4 percent a year. It’s the hottest appreciating home feature that realtor.com studied. As for features like stainless steel and granite, are amenities that don’t really add any value to a home it’s a ‘have-to-have’ features and in a competitive market a home needs to have them even if they don’t add long-term value.

Modern and contemporary homes: Modern and contemporary architectural styles have the highest potential for appreciation, increasing at about 7.7 percent annually. This style of home is known for simple, geometric shapes and large windows. Newly constructed modern homes also tend to be energy efficient.

Bungalows and traditional are the next highest appreciating styles at 6.5 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, niche styles like Craftsman bungalows and Victorians are among the lowest appreciating architectural styles, at 3.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

Researchers speculate that may be due to some of the maintenance responsibilities in staying true to the home’s historical architecture that is often connected to these styles of homes.

Green space views: Homes with a park view appreciate at 7.9 percent a year. Buyers appreciate the tranquility and outdoor activities. They like being close to nature.

Homes with a lake view at 4.9 percent. Ocean views appreciated the least of the “home views” studied, at just 3.6 percent a year. Recent storms may have spooked buyers from oceanfront properties as well as the fact that the highest-cost homes tend to be along the ocean.