Press releases

Move Over Zoom Rooms: Luxury Kitchen Amenities are the New Pandemic Must-Haves

As many homebuyers have become master home chefs during the pandemic, Zillow research finds updated kitchens are associated with homes selling faster and for more money.

Mar 11, 2021

SEATTLE, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- After a year of eating at home -- and finding escapism in the form of freshly baked bread or desserts -- home buyers want the professional features and equipment to take their cooking to the next level. New Zillow research finds buyers are willing to pay a premium for luxury kitchen amenities. From professional appliances to quartz countertops, six out of the top 10 features mentioned in listings that sold for more than expected in 2020 are kitchen-related.

Steam ovens were the hottest feature of the year, associated with a 4.9% premium -- more than any other home feature and style Zillow analyzed. The sale premium for steam ovens increased one percentage point from Zillow's analysis the year before, and jumped up 24 spots on the list.

"The life changes triggered by the pandemic have caused everyone to reconsider what's most important about their homes, and that's reflected in the shifting importance of home features measured by sale price premiums," says Zillow Home Trends Expert Amanda Pendleton. "It's clear that buyers were especially drawn to useful and beautiful kitchen features in 2020, even more than in a typical home shopping season." 

Other kitchen features associated with a price premium include "new appliances" (3.2% higher sale price), and "smart appliances" (3%). Listings mentioning "open shelving," a trendy design feature made popular by home improvement TV shows, sold about six days faster than expected.  Driven by the pandemic trend of dining in and entertaining at home, listings mentioning "pizza ovens" sell for 3.4% more than expected -- jumping 41 spots from last year to become the feature with the fourth highest price premium.

Beautiful and durable countertops continue to be a priority for homebuyers, with listings mentioning "quartz" selling for 3.2% more than expected. And the non-porous quality of quartz makes it more resistant to bacteria, making it a great choice to keep the kitchen as germ-free as possible. Similarly, "butcher block" was tied to a 2.7% sale premium, and listings mentioning Carrara marble sold five days quicker than expected.

"Consumers are always looking for ways to make the kitchen more functional, more organized, easy to clean and, of course, more beautiful. While adjusting to the new 'at home' lifestyle, we quickly learned what a hub of the home the kitchen really is," says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow home design expert. "New innovative appliances have brought additional smart features, while durability still holds high importance for beautiful hard working surfaces."

Buyers are also increasingly interested in creating a spa vibe at home through luxury bathroom amenities. Bathroom features that contributed a higher-than-expected sale are "curbless," as in showers with no barrier to step over (3.6%), and heated floors (3.2%). A free-standing bathtub came in just under the top 10 list of amenities, but still is associated with a 2.6% price premium.

"This research identifies the trending features buyers value during the pandemic. This spring home shopping season, sellers would be wise to flaunt those features in their listing description if they've got them," said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker. "It's important to mention that this research did not look at return on investment for these features. Instead, they should be viewed as signals that the home may be generally well-crafted and thoughtfully updated. For instance, if a home has a steam oven, it likely has other high-end finishes that buyers are willing to pay for."

There are many factors that contribute to a home's sale speed and final sale price, and the current hot housing market shows no signs of slowing down. For this analysis, Zillow looked at over 220 features or design elements that were mentioned in the listing descriptions of over one million homes sold in 2020.

Top 10 Features Associated with Homes Selling for More Than Expected


Price Premium

Steam oven


Curbless (shower)


Modern farmhouse


Pizza oven


Heated floor; radiant heat


New appliances




Dog house


Smart appliance


Butcher block


Top 10 Features Associated with a Faster than Expected Sale


Days on Market
Shorter than









Smart sprinkler system


Double-pane window




Open shelving


Carrara (marble)


Fenced yard/backyard



Approximately 1.4 million home sales from 2020 were analyzed. In each case, the listing description on Zillow was flagged for whether it contained any variation of each of 221 common expressions of interest. The logged final sale price (or days on Zillow) was regressed against the logged pre-listing Zestimate, which represented Zillow's best guess of how much it would sell for when listed, as well as (simultaneously) the presence or absence of every one of these 221 listing description features. Only results for features with a statistically significant coefficient and which appeared in at least 100 listing descriptions are reported here.

About Zillow Group:

Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make it easier to unlock life's next chapter.

As the most-visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience for selling, buying, renting or financing with transparency and nearly seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, allowing sellers control over their timeline. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliate lender, provides our customers with an easy option to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions. 

Zillow Group's brands, affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®; Zillow Offers®; Zillow Premier Agent®; Zillow Home Loans™; Zillow Closing Services™; Zillow Homes, Inc.; Trulia®; Out East®; StreetEasy® and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (


For further information: Haley Mills, Zillow,