Despite the downturn in the U.S. housing market, there's some positive news on the home technology front, says the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Arlington, Va. According to the organization's “8th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study,” conducted in November and December 2009, and “The Home Technologies Market — An In-Depth Look at Home Builder Perceptions and Motivations” report, conducted in January 2010, builders continue to offer technology solutions to their customers, despite the sharp drop in housing starts.

Based on the results of this research, 28% of builders said home technology was “very important” to marketing new homes in 2009, up from 25% in 2008. One-quarter of builders said home technologies positively impacted their revenues, up from 18% in 2008. The study also found that 8% of builders felt home technologies greatly increased their revenue, the highest level recorded in the history of the study.

CEA recommends builders work with system integrators/electronic systems contractors (ESCs) because of their focus and expertise on home technology and ability to help sell home technology to potential customers. System integrators/ESCs are making inroads with builders and, when combined, represent 67% of contractors used to install home technologies. According to the study, reputation (75%), experience working with builders (75%), and completeness of offerings (73%) closely follow price (82%) in ranking the factors for selecting a home technology installer.