Home shoppers splurge 10% more for modern farmhouses

by Candyd Mendoza05 Mar 2020

Homebuyers are mad about the farmhouse trend, and these homes are selling for more and faster than expected, according to Zillow.

Zillow’s new research showed that the modern farmhouse style, when mentioned in a for-sale listing, pushed the sale premium by 10.3% – the biggest price premium of any home feature or style Zillow looked at. This amounts to approximately $25,000 on a typical American home.

"Some design trends look great in a photograph, but don't reflect the way most Americans live," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow lifestyle expert. "The modern farmhouse trend seems to be enduring because of its livability. It has a more casual, rustic aesthetic that is meant to be lived in; nothing is precious and the more wear and patina, the better, which makes it so appealing to buyers with children or pets."

Other high-end, custom features like waterfall countertops, which fall vertically down the side of a kitchen island or peninsula, earned 9.4% sale premium. Meanwhile, Moroccan tiles added 7.3% more to the price of the home.

Despite the correlation of these features to higher sale premiums, Zillow economist Jeff Tucker said that high-quality features do not directly cause the increase.

"This analysis didn't look at return on investment, so don't rush out to install a waterfall countertop in your kitchen and assume you'll earn your money back in a sale," Tucker said. "However, if you have these features in your home, make sure to flaunt them in your listing description during the competitive spring home shopping season. We can't prove these features directly cause the price premiums we found, but the positive correlation is a clear sign that today's home shoppers associate these features with high-quality homes."

Keywords and hot design trends also contributed to a faster sale. Those associated with smart homes, like “smart sprinkler system” and “smart light,” and keywords related to sustainability and energy-efficiency, such as “drought-resistant” and “double-pane windows,” sped up the sale. Home with rattan elements sold almost 13 days faster than anticipated.