How Smart is Your Home?

By Tim Boothroyd, Manager of Product Consulting & Residential, Dodge Research & Analytics

BEDFORD, MA - March 23, 2018 - Houses that contain electronic equipment that can be controlled remotely and/or can interact with each other are commonly referred to as “smart homes”. These days, tasks as simple as turning lights on or off, checking home security, and even adjusting home temperature can be easily accomplished remotely – even if the homeowner is away. In fact, the convenience, potential money savings, and security offered by these devices makes them appear to be the wave of the future. As the tech industry continues to make strides in developing products that enhance the connectedness of our homes, Dodge Data & Analytics decided to conduct a survey of homeowners to determine what new and innovative smart products are being used in the typical home and which ones are most prevalent.

Not surprisingly, survey results reveal that smart home products are becoming ever more common as consumers look to benefit from the convenience of home automation. Still, less than 30% of homes contained smart products as of 2017. The Dodge homeowner research focused on smart products including large/small appliances, security systems, heating/cooling, lighting, entertainment systems, and whole home products like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.    

Respondents said the most sought-after devices were smart home security systems. Products including smart locks, video doorbells, and security cameras appear to be the top picks for homeowners looking to secure their homes and belongings. These DIY systems offer monitoring from essentially anywhere with a smart phone or tablet. Second in popularity to security devices were products designed to control a home’s temperature. Continued increases in home heating and cooling costs, coupled with concerns for the environment, appear to have driven interest in these services. Third in popularity were lighting control devices that were favored to save energy costs and to improve security without a large monetary investment.


Demographics appear to play an important role in determining which homeowners are most interested in smart home products.  Income and age seem to play the most significant role in the decision to purchase smart products. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, consumers age 45-54 typically spend the highest average amount on goods and services. This finding is not surprising since this age group also typically earns the highest income before taxes. Dodge’s survey research, however, reveals that homeowners who purchase smart home products are usually much younger. The largest share of respondents purchasing smart home products were homeowners age 18-44 (approximately half of this group purchased smart home products). In fact, purchases declined precipitously as age increased, suggesting that the younger generation is more comfortable with home automation than older homeowners.

Dodge research reveals that some smart products are really starting to take hold, while others appear to be in their infancy. One obstacle to greater adoption seems to be a concern about the initial investment required, but this concern may lessen as prices inevitably decline as products become more universal. Adoption among older homeowners also appears to be a hurdle that has yet to be overcome, but this too will change as today’s young homeowners eventually become tomorrow’s older homeowners.




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