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Three Quarters of Millennials Would Consider a 3D Printed Home, According to Realtor.com Survey

August 22 2021

Major selling points include affordability, energy efficiency and resistance to natural disasters

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 20, 2021 -- 3D printed home technology has hit the mainstream, with builders claiming these homes can be built in half the time and for half the cost. But will people actually buy them? A new survey from Realtor.com found that 66% of all consumers and 75% of millennials would consider living in a 3D printed home. The survey also found that 30% of all respondents and 43% of millennials think that 3D printed homes will replace traditional methods of homebuilding.

The survey of 3,026 consumers, which was conducted online by HarrisX in July 2021, found that 42% have heard about 3D home printing technology. That number was much higher (63%) for recent home buyers, suggesting that home searchers are doing their research when it comes to new technology.

"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," said George Ratiu, senior economist, 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. As technology is advancing novel building solutions, anything we can do to reduce the cost of new construction and increase the number of available homes, especially at an affordable price point, will help to restore balance in this strong seller's market."

Factors that would persuade people to live in a 3D printed home include: lower cost (54%), more energy efficient (51%), more resistant to natural disasters (42%), faster to build (41%), more customizable (39%), and produces less waste than traditional building methods (32%).

However, some consumers are still wary of the technology. When asked what would hold them back from living in a 3D printed home, the most common response was that they want to wait and see how the technology will pan out over time (36%). Other responses include: prefer the aesthetics of a traditional home (22%), think it won't last as long (22%), don't want their home to look exactly like the neighbors (18%), prefer an existing home to new construction (14%), and don't trust the technology (14%). Twenty-two percent of respondents said nothing would hold them back from living in a 3D printed home.

"While the technology is still somewhat nascent, our survey data shows that consumers are very interested in 3D printed 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. For the rising generations of digital natives, new building technology may provide a sustainable bridge toward homeownership," said Ratiu.

Methodology: Realtor.com® commissioned HarrisX to conduct a national survey of consumers. The total sample size was 3,026 adults. The survey was carried out online from July 21-23, 2021. The sampling margin of error of this poll is ±1.8 percentage points. The figures represent a national view of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age, gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

About Realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit Realtor.com.