Despite Downturn, Builders Still Offer Solutions: CEA Study

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Arlington, Va. - Builders are still offering technology solutions to consumers, despite the sharp drop in housing starts, according to a new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) study.

In CEA's 8th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study, released today, finds positive news in the home-technology market amid the downturn in the U.S. housing market. CEA also released a qualitative analysis report, The Home Technologies Market - An In-Depth Look at Home Builder Perceptions and Motivations.

Both studies are meant to provide home-technology professionals with a better understanding of homebuilders' perceptions of and motivations for installing home technology.

"Home technology, like the housing market, hit bottom in 2009," stated Steve Koenig, CEA's industry analysis director. "Despite the sharp drop in housing stats, builders continue to offer technology solutions to their customers. Builders view technology as a potential key to growth as the economy improves, and many have cemented home technology in their portfolio of home features and amenities."

Twenty-eight percent of builders said home technology was very important to marketing new homes in 2009, up from 25 percent in 2008. In a challenging housing market, builders looked for solutions to add value to a home, CEA reports.

One-quarter of builders (25 percent) said home technologies positively impacted their revenues, up from 18 percent in 2008. The study found that 8 percent of builders stated home technologies greatly increased their revenue, the highest level recorded in the history of the study.

CEA recommends builders work with system integrators/electronic systems contractors (ESCs) because of their focus and expertise on home technology and ability to help sell home technology to potential customers.

System integrators/ESCs are making inroads with builders, and when combined, represent 67 percent of contractors used to install home technologies. When selecting a service provider, builders act like consumers. Reputation (75 percent), experience working with builders (75 percent) and completeness of offerings (73 percent) closely follow price (82 percent) in ranking the factors for selecting a home-technology installer.

The 8th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study (March 2009) was conducted in November and December 2009. The Home Technologies Market - An In-Depth Look at Home Builder Perceptions and Motivations was conducted in January 2010. Both were designed and formulated by CEA.

The reports are available free to CEA member companies at

. Non-members will be able to purchase them at



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