Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

While the holiday spirit may warm hearts, the cooler temperatures create colder homes. Because of this, homebuyers must consider a variety of different environmental factors when deciding which home to purchase, in hopes to minimize the cost of comfort.

Using data from the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (available free to members through Right Tools Right Now), we can see which buyers find heating and cooling costs, and environmental features most important:

  • Eighty-three percent of recent buyers found heating and cooling costs to be at least somewhat important when deciding on a home to purchase (32% consider these very important)
  • Those who consider heating and cooling costs very important were most likely to have purchased a single-family detached home that is previously-owned
  • Heating and cooling costs were more important to first-time buyers at 37% very important, compared to 30% among repeat buyers
  • These costs were also more important to those purchasing new construction at 45 percent very important versus 30% among those buying previously owned homes
  • Battle of the thermostat: heating and cooling costs were most important to single female buyers, and least important to single males
  • Heating and cooling costs were most important to buyers in the South and Northeast
  • Those who consider heating and cooling costs and other environmental features very important were most likely 25 to 44 years old
  • Only 28% of buyers who purchased a home built between 2000 and 1985 found heating and cooling costs to be very important, compared to 45% of buyers whose home was built in 2020
  • Heating and cooling costs were slightly less important in the home search during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before
Bulleted list of facts about buyers' home heating and cooling costs

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