Most Popular Home Features for 2020 Homebuyers

Articles & Interest

There are a lot of reasons to renovate your home: better function, added comfort, improved energy efficiency, or aesthetics. Even if you’re making personal changes, many people want to keep resale value in mind. We’ve compiled the most popular home features that new home buyers in Canada are looking for in 2020.  

The data comes from the 2020 CHBA Home Buyer Preference Survey, which is powered by Avid Ratings Canada. It’s the largest nationwide market research study of its kind in Canada. Now in its sixth year, the 2020 study surveyed 27,647 new homebuyers from 115 builders across 8 provinces in Canada – the largest sample of new homebuyers since the study was launched in 2015.

We asked Canadians who recently purchased a new home to answer questions on more than 50 in-depth areas of home design, building features, community preferences, and more.

Let’s have a look at today’s most desired home features.

Energy efficiency

The desire for more energy efficient homes isn’t going anywhere soon, and several home features related to energy efficiency landed in the top ten for new homebuyers this year. Homeowners are increasingly aware of how making the switch to a more energy efficient homes makes the home more comfortable, helps lower our greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and can take some pressure off their utility bills.  

Energy efficient appliances were the top desired feature of 2020 – Canadians almost except their home to come with them, so if you’re replacing yours as part of a renovation keep that in mind. And overall energy-efficient home was the third most popular feature, followed by high-efficiency windows.

Bright Living Room - Naikoon Contracting Ltd.

CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence (2020) FINALIST | Net Zero Home Award | “One Raven Net Zero” by Naikoon Contracting Ltd, North Vancouver, BC

High-efficiency windows are a given in Net Zero homes like this one by RenoMarkTM member Naikoon Contracting Ltd., but can also improve comfort and efficiency in all homes.

One feature on the top ten list is an air exchange system (HRV/ERV). While not the most sexy feature, air exchange systems keep your home supplied with fresh air and can greatly improve your indoor air quality; great for everyone, but especially those with allergies or sensitivities.

On the Rise: Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is gaining ground for Canadians. Homebuyers are looking for the latest smart home technology to control their energy consuption, make communication easier and to secure their home with new features that allow you to control and program your settings remotely. The top 3 ranked smart home technology features include: WiFi thermostats, lighting automation, and security systems. When it comes to innovation, this Regina home by RenoMark member Munro Homes Ltd. has it all: an in-floor heating system, home lighting automation, audio-visual controls, and an advanced security system.

White Kitchen with Island - Munro Homes, Regina

CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence (2020) WINNER | DETACHED HOMES – Custom Under 2,500 square feet | “Opulant In-Fill on Quinn Drive” by Munro Homes Ltd., Regina, SK

Storage space

Canadians are looking for space to keep their belongings organized both inside and outside of the home. Three of the top ten spots include walk-in closets, linen closets, and two-car garages. Home designs that maximize storage, even for those that have less square footage to work with, are a step ahead in attracting buyers.

Open-Concept Kitchens

Open-concept kitchens stay on the rise as one of the most desirable features for today’s homebuyers. When it comes to countertops, quartz is still the most popular option. It’s hardworking, easy to clean, can beautifully mimic marble (often at a more affordable price point), and adds a “wow” factor to kitchens and baths. In the photo below, RenoMark member Ultimate Renovations uses high quality Cambria Quartz throughout this beautiful Calgary kitchen.

Walnut Kitchen by Ultimate Renovations in Calgary, AB

CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence  (2020) RUNNER-UP | Kitchen Renovation, $70,000 – $100,000 |  “Modern Walnut Transformation” by Ultimate Renovations in Calgary, AB

And if you’re planning an open-concept kitchen, consider adding an island with seating if you have the space. Island allow for good traffic flow, added food prep space, and can bring the family whole family in with the chef. They’re this year’s #5 most desired feature.

Let in the light

Finally, large windows continue to make the list of the most desired home features in Canada, and allow light to flood through the home, especially in open floorplans. Just make sure they’re energy efficient!

Are you a renovator or builder looking to access the survey results?

Delve deeper into the 2020 CHBA Homebuyer Preference Study to find out what homeowners and renters want more of, and what they’re willing to trade to get it. And before you decide where your upcoming marketing dollars are going to go, have a look at how Canadians are looking for their next home purchase, and which tools help them decide which home to buy. Survey results can be analyzed by geographic region and buyer profile. The survey results are available for purchase at (free for all CHBA members).