3D Printed Homes Are Gaining Consumer Interest

The laser-fast building style is winning over buyers with promises of greater affordability, energy efficiency, and resistance to natural disasters.
3D printed home

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Press print for a home. More consumers are warming up to that idea. Sixty-six percent of more than 3,000 consumers—and 75% of millennials, in particular—say they’d consider living in a 3D printed home, according to a new survey released by realtor.com®.

3D printed homes have been touted for offering greater affordability, energy efficiency, and better resistance to natural disasters over the past year. They also make it much faster to build a new home.

“Over the past decade, as the homebuilding industry focused mainly on the upper end of housing, expecting younger generations to favor renting, the price of construction has pushed new homes out of reach for many first-time home buyers,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com®. “With the largest generation in U.S. history embracing homeownership, and the pandemic accelerating the move toward suburban markets, new home construction plays a pivotal role in meeting the growing demand.”

The technology is advancing and 3D-printed homes can help reduce the cost of new construction and increase the number of available homes at a more affordable price point, Ratiu says. They “will help to restore balance in this strong seller’s market,” he adds.

Thirty percent of survey respondents believe that 3D printed homes will eventually replace traditional methods of homebuilding.

3D homes have gained greater buzz over the last year. Sixty-three percent of recent buyers say they’ve heard of 3D home printing technology.

The biggest factors that would persuade consumers to purchase a 3D printed home, according to the realtor.com® survey respondents:

  • Lower cost: 54%
  • More energy efficient: 51%
  • More resistant to natural disasters: 42%
  • Faster to build: 41%
  • More customizable: 39%
  • Produces less waste than traditional building methods: 32%

For those who were more unsure of the technology, these are the main factors holding them back, according to the survey:

  • 36% want to wait and see how the technology pans out over time
  • 22% say they prefer the aesthetics of a traditional home
  • 22% believe it won’t last as long
  • 18% say they don’t want their home to look exactly like their neighbors' homes

“While there have only been a small number of 3D printed homes sold to date, as the technology continues to advance, we could see it add more affordable homes to the housing market,” Ratiu says. “For the rising generations of digital natives, new building technology may provide a sustainable bridge toward homeownership.”