BAM Key Details: 

  • After analyzing over 250 billion search queries, Zillow compiled a list of standout search terms for 2023—with a top 10 national list as well as top five lists for major U.S. metros.
  • Data from Zillow’s AI-powered natural language search feature, introduced earlier this year, provided valuable insights into what this year’s home shoppers were looking for. 

Zillow analyzed over 250 billion home search queries, using data from its AI-powered natural language search feature introduced earlier this year. And that data held some surprising insights into buyer preferences—not just across the U.S. but from one city to the next. 

A  full report revealed the top 10 Zillow search terms—features American homebuyers searched for the most nationwide. It also highlighted the top five search terms for 30 different U.S. metros. 

Here’s what stood out. 

Top 10 Zillow search terms

Of all the features American buyers were searching for in a home this year, these were the top ten nationwide: 

  1. Garage
  2. Backyard
  3. Fireplace
  4. Walk-in closet
  5. Patio
  6. Open floor plan
  7. Pool
  8. Family room
  9. Basement
  10. Granite countertop

Top feature searches by city

Some search terms were popular across the country, while some metros were notable for prioritizing some features more than most. 

For example, home shoppers in most states want centralized air-conditioning (one of the reasons newly-built homes often have an edge over pre-owned homes), while some metros more than others placed a high emphasis on efficient heating systems. 

In 22 of the 30 cities in Zillow’s analysis, centralized climate-control systems (both AC and heating) were a top search term. Searches specifically focused on heating systems were more prevalent in areas known for cold winters, but some southern metros stood out this year by ranking heating at the top of their five most common search terms: 

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Charlotte, SC
  • Dallas, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Nashville, TN
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Tampa, FL

Dreamy views are always a selling point, but some metros are more likely to see homebuyers prioritizing the view in their home search. Seattle turned out to be the most view-obsessed city in the U.S., with Zillow users focusing on mountain, city, and water views. Meanwhile— 

  • Miami homebuyers are most interested in water views
  • Buyers in Atlanta and San Francisco are looking for homes with city views
  • And home shoppers in Colorado Springs are partial to mountain views

Top Zillow searches in other metros included— 

  • Tennis courts, clubhouses, and tile roofs in Naples, FL
  • Fitness areas and gyms in Miami, FL and New York, NY
  • Street parking and finished basements in Philadelphia, PA
  • “Eat-in kitchens” in San Antonio
  • Contemporary style homes in Tucson, AZ

Most-Searched Features by City:

Finally, the most searched features for 30 notable cities:

  • Atlanta: Central heating, central air conditioning, hardwood floor, city view, double vanity.
  • Austin: Central air conditioning, walk-in closet, backyard, high ceilings, garage.
  • Charlotte: Central heating, central air conditioning, walk-in closet, fireplace, open floor plan.
  • Chicago: Hardwood floor, central air conditioning, basement, elevator, garage.
  • Colorado Springs: Basement, mountain view, attached garage, garage, fireplace.
  • Dallas: Central heating, central air conditioning, attached garages, fireplace, garage.
  • Denver: Basement, central air conditioning, patio, two parking spaces, open floor plan.
  • Fort Worth: Central air conditioning, attached garage, garage, walk-in closet, fireplace.
  • Houston: Two parking spaces, attached garage, backyard, fenced backyard, garage.
  • Indianapolis: Central air conditioning, garage, covered porch, basement, attached garage.
  • Jacksonville: Central heating, central air conditioning, shingle roof, walk-in closet, fenced backyard.
  • Las Vegas: Fenced backyard, central air conditioning, backyard, pool, attached garage.
  • Los Angeles: Central heating, central air conditioning, pool, fireplace, garage.
  • Miami: Pool, central air conditioning, water view, community pool, fitness center.
  • Naples: Pool, tile roof, community pool, clubhouse, tennis court.
  • Nashville: Central heating, central air conditioning, basement, fireplace, covered porch.
  • New York: Basement, doorman, hardwood floor, terrace, gym.
  • Orlando: Central air conditioning, pool, attached garage, community pool, walk-in closet.
  • Philadelphia: Street parking, basement, central air conditioning, hardwood floor, finished basement.
  • Phoenix: Covered patio, patio, pool, private pool, granite counters.
  • Pittsburgh: Basement, central air conditioning, hardwood floor, garage, fireplace.
  • Portland: Basement, fireplace, garage, hardwood floor, high ceilings.
  • Raleigh: Fireplace, walk-in closet, garage, porch, hardwood floor.
  • Sacramento: Central heating, central air conditioning, backyard, garage, fenced backyard.
  • San Antonio: Central heating, central air conditioning, open floor plan, eat-in kitchen, garage.
  • San Diego: Garage, pool, attached garage, fireplace, community pool.
  • San Francisco: City view, garage, central heating, attached garage, fireplace.
  • Seattle: Mountain view, city view, hardwood floor, water view, fireplace.
  • Tampa: Central heating, central air conditioning, pool, open floor plan, walk-in closet.
  • Tucson: Central air conditioning, patio, pool, attached garage, contemporary style.

Source: Zillow

Byron Lazine covered Zillow’s findings on last Friday’s Hot Sheet, starting at 02:49

Read the full report for more information.