Consumers: By the Numbers

Here’s a quick look at consumer sentiment from the recent State of the Building Industry survey.

An analysis of the consumer responses to the recent State of the Building Industry COGNITION Smart Data survey offers a look at how consumers are feeling as 2024 gets under way. Consumers report that inflation and high interest rates have caused them to cut spending on travel, entertainment, and dining out. Forty percent of consumer respondents indicated that they are curbing spending by 11 to 20 percent.

Due to current financial conditions, 39 percent of consumers report that they have had to dip into savings to pay bills, 35 percent are charging more on credit cards, and 31 percent are taking on a second job or side-hustle to cover expenses.

DALL·E 2023-11-21 19.27.31 - Illustrate a concerned couple, a man and a woman, standing amidst symbols of economic hardship. They are holding an empty wallet and looking at a pigg

Consumers are having a tough time deciding how they want to spend their income when it won’t go as far, thanks to inflation—a fact that is impacting home sales nationwide. Credit: z wei/iStock


Consumers are clearly struggling: 45 percent say they’re having a hard time covering daily expenses and 31 percent are having problems keeping up with things such as utility bills and home renovations.

Given current economic conditions, 39 percent of consumers report that they’re inclined to make their home more energy efficient, 35 percent plan to remodel rather than move, 21 percent plan to purchase an EV, and 18 percent plan to convert their home to all electric.

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Forty-eight percent of consumers say that they’re more focused on long-term value and ongoing operating costs when purchasing a home, showing a marked change in how buyers make homebuying decisions, and indicating that lowest upfront cost is no longer the only—or best—metric to use when valuing a home.

Forty-six percent of consumers report that climate events are impacting their ability to obtain insurance for their homes.

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We asked builders similar questions in a separate survey: Learn what’s important to builders here

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