A group of 32 of the nation’s largest home builders announced the start of an initiative to positively influence public perception of new construction homes. The multi-year, multi-million dollar marketing and advertising campaign is aimed at making new construction homes more attractive to potential home buyers who are comparing new homes with existing homes.
The consortium, Builder Homesite, Inc. (BHI), collaborated with advertising agency GSD&M to develop a campaign focused on redefining the “new” in new home. Initial campaign elements are driven by digital advertising and demonstrate the many benefits of new construction homes. Future elements will include a comprehensive website, produced and user-generated videos, interactive games and other tools that highlight the advantages of new home ownership.
"We understand that consumers today face a wealth of choices when it comes to buying a home," said Tim Costello, president and chief executive officer of Builder Homesite, Inc. "New homes offer many advantages for today's modern home buyer; however, many consumers simply aren't aware of the benefits of new home ownership. Our goal is to arm prospective buyers with the tools needed to make an educated decision that best fits their needs and lifestyle."
BHI conducted research with Hanley Wood, the leading media company covering residential construction, and found buyers shopping for a home are most interested in lower cost of living through lower maintenance; improved energy efficiency; modern floor plans suited for today’s family; and superior construction quality.
Existing homes are often outdated and unpredictable, which can lead to costly repairs and maintenance. New homes feature warranty-backed construction, energy-efficient technologies and spacious floor plans -- allowing homeowners to focus on their “want-to-do” list instead of their “must-do” list.
"Houses being built today boast superior structural soundness and durability, forward thinking designs and unprecedented efficiency standards, making this an opportune time for the industry to educate current and prospective home shoppers," said Deborah Wahl Meyer, chief marketing officer of national home builder PulteGroup.
The home building industry was hit especially hard as new home sales fell off during the recent economic downturn. New home sales in 2011 were the lowest on record since the government began keeping statistics in 1963, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales have plummeted more than 76 percent since 2005, when new home sales peaked.
But the housing market is showing signs of life. New home starts are up more than 29 percent from over a year ago, reaching an annual rate of 750,000, according to August figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Permits for new homes rose in August to an annual rate of 803,000 — a 25 percent jump from August 2011.
Encouraged by the recent growth in new home sales, home builders are more optimistic about the future of their industry. Builder confidence is at its highest level since 2007, according to the most recent NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index.