The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in its 9th Annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study finds positive news for home builders exploring broadband connectivity as a selling point in homes. The percentage of builders installing broadband connections, at 77 percent, is the highest in the history of the study, showing Internet access is a prerequisite for any new home. CEA’s study was conducted in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, which gathered data through the Annual Builder Practices Survey, including new construction information from U.S. homebuilders. The study provides home technology professionals with a better understanding of homebuilders’ perceptions of and motivations for installing home technology. “The home technology sector has always been closely tied to the housing market,” says Chris Ely, CEA’s manager of industry analysis. “As the housing market recovers, we see a greater number of builders embracing technology as a means to differentiate their offerings and grow margins.” As builders differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace, technology has become not only a selling point, but also a source of profit. One in four builders (27 percent) said home technology greatly or somewhat increased their revenue, a significant increase from 2008 (18 percent) that illustrates the growth of home technology in the marketplace. More builders are either proactively marketing and/or providing information on request to customers regarding technology, while the percentage of builders who “do nothing” with home technology fell significantly across all product categories. The multi-room audio category saw the biggest percentage increase with 43 percent of builders proactively marketing, up from 34 percent in 2009. Builders Use Home Systems to Differentiate Themselves 27 percent -Home technology greatly or somewhat increased revenue in 2011 18 percent -Home technology greatly or somewhat increased revenue in 2008 43 percent -Multi-room audio saw the biggest percentage increase 24 percent -Multi-room audio in 2009 Source: CEA and the National Association of Home Builders Research Center For home builders, some now see value in adding structured wiring and home systems infrastructure as a way to attract buyers in addition to more typical amenities.