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Consumer Demand for Home Technology Grows with Housing Market Recovery
May 25, 2012
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Installed home technology is solidified in U.S. home builders' offerings as evidenced by a 1-year doubling of home automation installations in new homes, according to the 10th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The report said entertainment and automation solutions are helping builders differentiate their businesses, while more common home technologies like structured wiring are necessary to compete effectively in the market.

"This year's study confirms CEA's long-held belief and prediction that home technology would make a positive contribution to the inevitable housing market recovery as home buyers' digital lifestyles and desires for energy efficiency factor into purchasing decisions," said Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis. "For example, home automation and lighting controls tap into buyers' rising concerns regarding energy costs, while a focus on home theater and multi-room audio demonstrate that builders can meet the growing homeowners' demands to access entertainment anywhere in the home."

The study found an increase in installations across all technology sectors, with the biggest gains in structured wiring - 63% of new homes in 2011, up from 45% of new homes in 2010.

Energy management solutions, such as automated lighting controls (12%, up from 7%) and home automation (10%, up from 5%) were at all-time highs.

Entertainment features also performed well in 2011 with multi-room audio (23%) and home theater (29%) installations rebounding strongly after recession-period lows.

The study also found that builders have embraced other construction opportunities, such as remodeling existing homes (57%). The report indicates industry players should not lose focus on aftermarket opportunities, even as new home building recovers, as one in five builders said remodeling generated more revenue than new home building in the past 12 months.

The CEA study was conducted in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center.

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