You wouldn’t buy a haunted house. But would you buy a smart home?
In both places, things move about by themselves. Everything you say and do is silently observed. Lights flick on and off without you even needing to clap.
Until now, the digital ghosts of the average smart home have been so busy spooking each other that they’ve not achieved much for their human roomies. Domestic smart devices have literally been on their own wavelength, unable to coordinate due to conflicting connectivity standards. Your fridge may want to talk to your doorbell, but it struggles to get a direct line.
But don’t let this spook you. Leading smart home players, including Amazon, Google Nest, and Samsung, are co-operating to develop ‘Matter,’ a standard to standardize all standards. Developments like Matter and our rekindled love for cozying-in post-pandemic have boosted the desirability of buying a ready-fitted smart home. North America is leading the way, and the market is forecast to grow from $84.5 billion to $138.9 billion by 2026.
So, American Home Shield decided to find where all the pre-fitted smart homes are. We analyzed Zillow listings for every American state and the 100 most populous cities to reveal which places have the most smart homes for sale, and which have the highest density of smart homes on the market.
Iowa is the State with the Most Smart Homes Per 1,000 Listings
Everyone knows boomers love gadgets. After all, this is the generation raised on The Jetsons. It turns out that retiring boomers are also happy to live in a gadget: there are 2,242 smart homes for sale in Florida, one of just six states to boast >1000 smart homes on the market.
One typical Florida property promises the following: Security Cameras, Network Video Recording, Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi, SMART: Thermostat, Lighting System, Fans, Security System, Watering System, Locks, Night Lights, Timed Landscape lights, Networked Security Cameras.
Part of Florida’s good showing is because it has more listings in total than any other state. But the smartest state per 1,000 listings is Iowa. In fact, Iowa has more than twice the density of smart homes found in any other state except for South Carolina. Ames, Iowa, is the site of a prototypical smart home running on 10G broadband. It features “everything from home security technology to a holographic television and a little robotic dog.”
Overall, the Carolinas have the most consistent impact in our figures. North and South Carolina make the top five states for smart homes, both in absolute terms and pro rata. As one South Carolina developer puts it: “In the last 10 years, we’ve talked about the amenities arms race in multi-unit development. That competition has transitioned from a cool club room or great pool to much more technology-focused.”
Madison, Wisconsin, Has the Highest Density of Smart Homes of Any Big City
New York is the city with the most smart home listings (615), although, like Florida, NYC has far more listings overall than its competitors. Real estate professionals boast that smart thermostats connected to a variety of temperature-regulating elements can provide consistent comfort in NYC’s notoriously inconstant climate. This saves unnecessary heat generation, with benefits for the environment and the bill payer.
Madison, Wisconsin, is emphatically America’s smartest (big) city, with more than double the number of smart homes per 1,000 listings than the other 99 most populous cities.
Building ready-connected homes is fast becoming the norm. While security remains a concern for some, one Madison expert is more concerned with rolling out a smart toilet that will analyze your pee and poop for health data. “All other aspects of your life – your electricity, your communication, even your doorbell – have enhanced capabilities,” points out Professor Sonia Grego.
From our pool of cities, Toledo, OH, and Laredo, TX, have precisely zero smart homes available on Zillow. Only North Las Vegas, NV, and Aurora, CO, come close to even half the smart homes per 1,000 you’ll find in Madison.
Is Buying Smart the Smart Choice?
It costs upwards of $3k to smartify a new home, not accounting for the stress, so buying smart certainly has appeal. But buyers need to do the math before figuring out if a home is worth the premium. In particular, the security of a home’s network and its connectivity protocols can compromise the economic and use-value of a networked home.
From the opposite point of view, you can boost your own home’s value by fitting it with smart infrastructure before putting it on the market – as long as you know what you’re doing. Because no potential buyer wants to be ghosted by a smart toilet that 404’s them instead of flushing.
For our full data, please check the interactive table below.
METHODOLOGY & SOURCES
We built a list of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. as well as all states.
We then used the keyword search function on Zillow's real estate listings database to record the total number of homes with "smart" in the description for the 100 cities and every U.S. state.
Using the search function, we found the number of listings that contained the word "smart" in the description. Having recorded the total number of normal listings and smart home listings in each region, we calculated the proportion of smart homes per 1,000 listings for every city and state.
We found no guidelines for using trademark symbols when mentioning the individual products or brands. Property remains that of the companies mentioned.
The data was collected in Dec 2021.