LAS VEGAS  – Millennial women place importance on maintaining a home that is personalized to their preferences, more than the generation before them; 6 in 10 say having a home that is “a reflection of me” is more important to them than to their parents’ generation in a survey of 1,600 U.S. female homeowners living in single-family homes.

Better Homes and Gardens released findings from its eighth-annual survey revealing attitude and behavior trends of homeowners in the U.S. This year’s research focused on the millennial generation and its preferences on customization and smart technology in home design. Just over 1,600 U.S. female homeowners living in single-family homes shared their thoughts on home improvement spending, the importance of functional design, and value in home technology.

During a presentation at the National Association of Home Builders Show in Las Vegas, Jill Waage, brand executive editor for Better Homes and Gardens presented these findings and offered insight on the needs of today’s current and future home owners.

“Our research shows that women 35 and under feel strongly that their homes are a reflection of their own personalities,” Waage says. “Further, members of this generation view technology as a way to customize living spaces to fit their needs. Year over year, millennials are increasingly adopting a positive outlook on the incorporation of smart technology into their homes, and are using it to personalize the homeowner experience.”

Key findings from this year’s “Home Factor” survey include:

A focus on personalization:

Millennials place importance on maintaining a home that is more personalized to their preferences than the generation before them. Almost two-thirds (63 percent percent) of millennial respondents surveyed say that having a home customized to their tastes and needs is a top priority. Similarly, 6 in 10 millennial respondents say that having a home that is “a reflection of me” is more important to them than to their parents’ generation.

Integration of Smart home technology:

Smart technology is increasingly seen by U.S. women, particularly those under 35, as a feature that improves home safety, health, and connections with families. Millennials agree that smart technology is customizable to their needs (74 percent), makes their homes more energy efficient (70 percent), and saves them time (67 percent).

Today, 54 percent of homeowners under 35 use at least one of the 16 smart technology features measured in the study. On their wish list, 39 percent of millennials say that they would most like to use smart devices to operate appliance settings, while 36 percent say they would like quality sleep tracking and reporting.

Millennials are willing to pay more for high quality

Compared to older generations, millennials are willing to pay more for high quality products. However, while 44 percent say they are willing to spend top dollar to get exactly the features and quality they want, 60 percent also say they are willing to compromise on what they want in order to save money.

Of those surveyed, one in five homeowners is in the process of planning or working on an interior project, led by those ages 35 and younger.

Home offices in demand

While millennial homeowners are similar to older homeowners with regard to the many types of projects they are working on and planning, survey responses found a higher interest in creating office space and adding storage at home: 13 percent of millennial homeowners are creating a home office, work space, or family communication center; and 15 percent of millennial homeowners are adding storage space.

“The places where millennials choose to spend their money are very telling of the values within this generation,” Waage notes. “The addition of a home work space speaks to the mobile millennial who is less confined by a corporate office or job. The emphasis on outdoor living and entertaining testifies to the importance of togetherness. And with the addition of smart home technology, millennial attitudes toward the home incorporate connectivity in every sense.”

The quantitative online survey was fielded in October 2015 among 1,610 U.S. female homeowners living in single-family homes. Of those surveyed, 800 respondents (49.7 percent) are from the Better Homes and Gardens “Meredith Knows Women” consumer panel, while 810 respondents (50.3 percent) were secured through Survey Sampling Inc. to represent U.S. female homeowners.

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