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2022 Housing Buzzwords: Home Descriptions Rely on Space & Outdoor Features to Attract Home-Seekers

With digital house-hunting becoming the norm, property descriptions aim for the perfect mix of vivid imagery and factual details. In fact, an analysis of the keywords that were used the most for their potential to entice homebuyers drew one simple conclusion: “Beautiful” no longer cuts it.

by Alexandra Ciuntu
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12 min. read

Today’s treacherous housing landscape has made home-seekers savvier when it comes to sifting through listings and determining which ones to focus their time, effort and money on. And, while the price and photos may be what draws them in initially, the full description of what a property has to offer can also play a decisive role for many. But, what are the most-used keywords to attract those in the market for a home? Here’s what we found:

  • Spaciousness defines home descriptions in 2022: Keywords addressing the need for more “room,” “space,” and an “open floor plan” were among the most used, aimed at ticking the boxes of space-deprived buyers. This universal need for space was also reflected in the frequent use of space-related adjectives, like “open” or “great.”
  • Curb appeal matters, but parking space matters more: “Garage” was the most-mentioned amenity in listing descriptions across the country.
  • Homes that promise a “patio/porch” or a “yard” might experience a boost in interest with these outdoor amenities still riding high off their post-pandemic popularity.
  • Outdoor amenities might be loved across price brackets, but descriptions for million-dollar listings prioritized mentioning the perk of cozying up to a “fireplace.”
  • House-hunters and condo-chasers may notice different descriptions in 2022: Houses allowed for more space for nice-to-haves, like “fireplace” and “pool,” while condos emphasized area and community perks, such as a “great location” and being “within walking distance.”
  • Keyword popularity varied across different regions: Descriptions in the South put the spotlight on outdoor features, but the Northeast cared more about having a “full bath.”
  • For renters, 2022 was all about convenience. Renters were lured with community perks, a favorable location and, most important, enough parking space.

In a world where prospective home-seekers might consider purchasing a home without first physically stepping inside the property, there’s a limited amount of time — and words — to grab attention. With that in mind, Point2 set out to determine which industry-related words and phrases had the potential to coax someone into buying in 2022.

We examined 52 million words found in descriptions of over 730,000 properties on Point2Homes.com. Upon analyzing the most widely used, our study revealed which terms U.S. agents mentioned the most when describing properties across major geographical regions and various price segments, thereby unveiling the terminology used to attract certain types of home-seekers.

Most Used Housing Keywords: Home Descriptions Make “Room” for Space-Related Words

Home descriptions echo the needs of the homebuyer at a particular moment in time — as reflected in our 2021 study on words used to attract home-seekers after the pandemic. And, if homebuyers learned anything lately, it’s that one can never have enough space. Accordingly, this year’s home descriptions were more than willing to address it.

Notably, a home advertisement should highlight the aspects of a property while also answering current buyer demands. And, while the purpose of a home description is to list the features of the property, it also needs to go beyond just telegraphic lineups of amenities in order to sell the idea of a dream home. So, beyond the usual suspects (like “home,” “bedroom,” “bathroom” or “kitchen”), 2022’s home descriptions were all about having “room” and “space.”

Specifically, peppered within well-crafted narratives of homelife bliss were real estate buzzwords, amenities, and trends aimed at whichever type of buyer the home needed to attract — from “closet” and “suite” to “counters” and “hardwood flooring.”

Check out the full list of the most used terms in home descriptions in 2022.

 

Most Used Features & Amenities: It’s All About Parking, Space & the Outdoors

The right words are crucial when describing properties. And while there’s no magical phrase to captivate prospective buyers, some keywords work better than others — particularly those referring to desirable home amenities, features or upgrades.

This year, the amenities that popped up on the regular were “garage” and “parking” — the latter, especially, when searching for condos. Granted, this is to be expected, as accessible parking has gradually become the most in-demand requirement for today’s home-seekers. And, in a perfect representation of the cyclical aspect of demand and supply, the need for car space is directly addressed in most listing descriptions.

 

Following a post-pandemic boost in popularity, outdoor oases like “patio/porch” and “yard” were next in line, making the need for outside space and fresh air one of the top priorities to be addressed. Meanwhile, the popularity of the “home office” has dwindled following back-to-work arrangements. Therefore, this once-essential amenity was less popular in descriptions in 2022 compared to one year ago.

Similarly, general concerns about space were laid to rest, with frequent mentions of “storage,” “walk-in closet” and “open floor plan.” Among equally practical amenities like “full bath” and “stainless steel appliances,” nice-to-haves like “fireplace” and “pool” snuck into the top 10 most popular features and amenities in home descriptions.

Keyword frequency also varied depending on the property type desired and the amount of space available for specific features and amenities. For instance, house buyers will often encounter descriptions highlighting the “patio/porch,” “yard,” or “fireplace,” whereas condo buyers will see “parking,” “pool” and the fact that the condo is “within walking distance” of certain points of interest.

Check out the full list of the 100 most popular features and amenities.

 

Most Used Terms by Region: South Is Lured with “Patio/Porch”, Northeast with a “Full Bath”

Agents responsible for writing property descriptions know their words must captivate, as well as state what is of interest to a prospective buyer. That means understanding the needs of the type of buyer they want to cater to — including how the geographical area might influence those needs.

“Garage” was the most widely used term in descriptions across the West and the Midwest, but “patio/porch” outranked it in the South, while a “full bath” won out in the Northeast. The Midwest and Northeast found common ground in their use of “basement” and “hardwood floors,” while homebuyers in the South and West were connected by an attraction to a nice “pool” and “stainless steel appliances.”

While words and phrases in descriptions varied between the major regions analyzed, favorites such as “yard,” “storage,” “walk-in closet,” “open floor plan” and, perhaps surprisingly, “fireplace” were widely used across the country.

Check out the full list of the 100 most popular keywords in home descriptions by region.

 

Most Used Terms by Price Bracket: “Storage” Just as Attractive in $100K Homes as in $5 Million Properties

To see how much home descriptions varied from one price segment to another, we looked at keywords targeting homebuyers with a specific budget.

Even without accompanying pictures, the descriptions of a $100,000 property (which is almost extinct nowadays) and a $5 million property looked different from the get-go. For example, homes on the affordable side are more likely to highlight the “great location” and flaunt the places of interest located “within walking distance”, meaning it would reduce or eliminate transportation costs. Conversely, only luxury homes mentioned a “wine cellar” and a “tennis court.”

 

Across the board, outdoor features like “yard” and “patio/porch” once again rose to the top to reflect the ubiquitous desire for outdoor space. But, because outdoor amenities are to be expected in high-end and ultra-high-end properties, these homes represented the exceptions. Instead, their descriptions highlighted the “fireplace,” “chef’s kitchen” or “hot tub.”

Notably, descriptions for ultra-luxury listings ($5 million and more) frequently mentioned “water views” alongside “breathtaking views” and “panoramic views.” Even so, no matter how expensive a home is, the descriptions were also sure to cover the essentials and frequently mentioned “storage” and a “full bath” (more likely an array of full baths).

Check out the full list of the 100 most popular keywords by price segment.

 

2022 Homebuyers Gravitate Toward Adjectives Like “Spacious” & “New”

Adjectives are crucial in painting a picture of the property itself, as well as of the neighborhood and what life might be like living there. But, with a scrollable array of online properties at homebuyers’ fingertips, “beautiful” or “gorgeous” might not be enough to convey the appeal of a listing. Moreover, while “beautiful” is still one of the most commonly used descriptors nationwide, it’s outdone by space-related adjectives, as well as adjectives related to recent touch-ups.

That said, with a pandemic and lockdown under their belt, homebuyers were drawn by descriptors like “spacious,” “open” or “great.” But, they were also attracted by adjectives linked to bathroom options and, thus, associated with cleanliness (such as “primary/master,” “full” or “private”). Likewise, adjectives such as “new” and “updated/upgraded” were heavily mentioned in home descriptions in 2022 — reminders that the pandemic prompted most of us to rethink our living spaces and adapt accordingly.

Check out the full list of the most used adjectives in home descriptions.

Rental Descriptions Focus on Community Perks: Nothing Beats Having a “Pool”

Meanwhile, keywords used to attract a target audience were slightly different when we looked at how rentals were advertised online. Because the concept of a forever home is not necessarily what lies at the core of the renter lifestyle, these descriptions relied more heavily on the perks, convenience, and overall experience of picking a certain community or building.

Rental ads were built around imagery of what it would be like to use the “pool,” to have access to a “washer-dryer,” or to enjoy the rentals’ “great location” and the conveniences “within walking distance.”

Parking continued to be of utmost importance in rental descriptions, as previously confirmed by Point2’s 2021 analysis of the most popular rental-related keywords used following the pandemic. Consequently, parking was regularly addressed, as were outdoor conveniences, fitness options and whether the property was pet friendly.

Check out the full list of the most used words in descriptions of homes for rent.

 

Most Widely Used Brands in Home Descriptions: Top Brands Make Top Keywords

In real estate, like in most industries, certain brand names are synonymous with quality. As such, property ads sometimes namedropped brands in order to reflect high-end features and durability, or to simply appeal to the brand loyalty that some buyers might have.

American hallmarks Whirlpool, Sub-Zero and Wolf took the podium of the brands that were most widely encountered in home descriptions. Similarly, luxury names like Gaggenau, Thermador or Miele were also used to boost the quality of the appliances found on the property.

Ultimately, different combinations of mostly the same words can make or break the description of what could be someone’s dream home. With that in mind — and with everchanging desires and priorities in a constantly evolving industry — it’s interesting to see that even the wealthiest buyers are lured with storage space and regular essentials, like a full bath and a nice porch.

 

Methodology

Point2, a division of Yardi Systems Inc., covers real estate trends and news. Point2 studies are based on internal data, public records, governmental sources, online research and other reliable third-party agencies.

  • The study analyzes more than 52 million words from listings for sale and for rent across the U.S. that were active in August 2022 on Point2Homes.com. We ranked the keywords according to the number of times they appeared in the available home descriptions.
  • The study excludes prepositions, linking words, pronouns, as well as misspelled words.
  • All rankings and bar charts are based on the number of times a certain keyword appears in the listing descriptions analyzed.
  • Keyword lists in all price segments are based on listings from that specific price range. For easier readability, all numbers were rounded. Price segments are as follows:
    • Less than $100,000
    • $100,001-$250,000
    • $250,001-$500,000
    • $500,001-$1,000,000
    • $1,000,001-$5,000,000
    • More than $5,000,000
  • Keyword lists for the U.S. regions analyzed are based on listings in each of those specific regions at the time of the analysis.
  • For comparison, see our 2021 and 2020 studies on the most-used real estate listing keywords at the time.

 

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage and freely grant permission to reuse, host or repost this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to Point2Homes.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

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