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Homebuyer Demand for Air Conditioning Heats Up

homebuyerWhile a primo patio or dolled-up deck is a standard selling point, the most chill feature of all just may be a central AC, according to a new Zillow analysis. The homebuyer is willing to shell out 2.5 percent more for a dwelling equipped with a central air-conditioning unit—a premium that will set them back a cool $5,500 for the typical U.S. abode—the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report says.

That premium runs highest in San Antonio, where AC-outfitted houses sold for 5.8 percent more than their non-cooled counterparts, the report states. Cincinnati stands close behind, with a 5.7 percent premium, while climate-controlled residences in Detroit, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas sold for a 5 percent premium.

Sixty-two percent of analyzed homebuyers listed air conditioning as a requisite feature, while forty-eight percent considered a “private outdoor space” like the aforementioned patio or deck as a must-have amenity, the study says.

From coast to coast, 66.1 percent of homes that sold in the past year count air conditioning among their components. In markets with some of the steamiest climates, an AC unit was in every home that sold over the past year, Zillow reports. It was in 99.1 percent of sold homes in Las Vegas and 97.9 percent in Phoenix, it notes.

Sizzling demand aside, there are times when a homebuyer don’t sweat the lack of an AC system, Zillow notes.

“Individual design preferences or decorating styles might deter buyers from certain homes, but there is a strong consensus in favor of air conditioning, although, in the nation’s fastest-moving markets, AC may weigh relatively low for buyers eager to find any home they can,” said Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow. “In historically more temperate climates, some homes—especially older ones—aren’t as likely to have air conditioning. But in places where temperatures regularly reach triple digits, it’s hard to find a home without air conditioning.”

Also worth mentioning, renters also place a slightly heftier premium on AC, Zillow found. The typical AC-equipped rental featured on Zillow’s website in the last year went for 2.8 percent more than a rental in the same market sans AC. That shakes out to about $40 more per month, the company says. The New York, Las Vegas, and Phoenix metros each command the highest rents for air conditioning, it notes.

About Author: Alison Rich

Alison Rich has a long-time tenure in the writing and editing realm, touting an impressive body of work that has been featured in local and national consumer and trade publications spanning industries and audiences. She has worked for DS News and MReport magazines—both in print and online—since they launched.

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