Although a Jetson-esque lifestyle may still seem a bit far-fetched, having a home perfectly customized to your digital needs is a real possibility. From automated lighting and enhanced security to climate control and management of your audio and video system, smart home technology is enabling homeowners to personalize their residences in a way never done before.

As the housing market jolts back to life the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is finding that entertainment and automation solutions are becoming an instrumental part of differentiating builders’ businesses and providing homeowners with attainable technology solutions that upgrade the home and how it is run.

When CEA, in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB,) released the 10th annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study, they found that home technology has taken a forefront in the recovery of the housing market. CEA’s director of industry analysis, Steve Koenig, believes that it is the homeowners desire to maintain a “digital lifestyle” as well as their desire for energy efficiency that is driving this market recovery as well as influencing purchasing decisions.

Specifically, the CEA study found that installing common home technologies, like structured wiring, are not only necessary to compete effectively in the market, but have increased substantially; from 45 percent of new homes in 2010 to 63 percent of new homes in 2011. Following suit is the desire for energy management capabilities, such as automated lighting and shade controls, which grew from 7 percent to 12 percent this year, accompanied by a heightened interest in home automation systems, increasing from 5 percent to 10 percent – all of which were all-time highs across the industry.

Aside from making the home more efficient, and easier to manage, homeowners are once again beginning to invest in their entertainment systems. According to the study, 2011 showed great promise for multi-room audio and home theater installations; which both rebounded strongly after their recession-period lows.

The overall increase in consumer demand and willingness to invest in the technology now, shows that homeowners are embracing the smart home and the possibilities that home technology can offer. From new homes, to remodeling projects, homeowners are opting for the flexibility and control presented from customized home automation systems – benefitting not just themselves and their families, but builders, integrators and the housing market as a whole.

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