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A new study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Economics & Housing Policy Group finds that consumers prefer genuine clay brick exteriors on a national scale. Scoring highest nationally among all ages, races, income levels and household types, brick ranked number one over vinyl siding, stone, stucco, wood, and fiber cement.
Regionally, brick ranked highest in five out of nine census divisions, including the South, West and Pacific areas, but second to vinyl siding in parts of the Northeast and Midwest and trailed stucco in parts of the West. The study, “What Home Buyers Really Want,” was conducted online in July 2012.
New home buyers ranked energy efficiency as the most important factor—a key brick benefit from its exceptional thermal properties that keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Consumers also indicated how much more they are willing to pay for their preferences.
“The study shows that home buyers trust brick to deliver on all fronts,” said Gregg Borchelt, president and CEO of the Brick Industry Association. “From its natural beauty and durability, sustainability, low maintenance, extreme weather resistance, and higher resale value, there’s no substitute for genuine clay brick.”
On a national level, respondents ranked brick highest at 34%, vinyl siding at 21%, stone at 16%, stucco at 12%, wood at 7% and fiber cement at 5%. To get brick, respondents reported they would add $7,500 in additional costs. Ranked by price point, brick topped other home exteriors in the $150,000-$499,000 range, while vinyl was preferred in the $150,000 or less range; brick ranked second to stone in the $500,000+ range, with stucco following in third place.
Even though adding a brick front to a house would cost consumers an extra $7,500 over aluminum and vinyl siding and $6,750 more than wood and fiber cement, the study indicated that consumers preferred brick 60% more frequently than vinyl and 4.5 times more frequently than fiber cement. And brick was preferred over twice as frequently as stone, which could be due in part to the fact that the study showed stone as having a 66% price premium over brick.