|dc.description.abstract||This thesis aims to identify the motivating factors driving consumers home purchase decisions from the consumer's point of view. Although there is an abundance of past real estate research, dating back as far as the 1920's, the factors shaping consumers home choice have not been fully explored. Past research has tended to assume that homebuyers arrive at a decision following a logical and rational decision making process. These studies have also tended to focus on utilitarian or economic factors shaping home choice. Although past research has unquestionably added to the understanding of home purchase behaviour, the focus on utilitarian and economic factors does not explain decisions that are underpinned by deep-seated motives. The present thesis extends past research by exploring the less tangible, non-economic aspects of home choice in order to provide a fuller story of why and how people consume homes.
The primary aim of this study was to investigate the unsolicited motives underlying consumers' home choices, therefore, a qualitative technique known as ZMET was employed. Based on the notion of unconscious thoughts, ZMET uses visual images gathered and/or generated by consumers to elicit and probe the metaphors that represent their thoughts and feelings. For the present study, 14 consumers who had recently placed an offer on a home took part in the ZMET interview. The present methodology extends past property research which has predominantly taken a quantitative approach.
The findings of the study provide a rich insight into the motivations behind consumer home choice. Firstly, it reveals that the pre-purchase checklists used by many homebuyers and real estate agents are inaccurate representation of consumer home choice, and explains why this is so. Secondly, it demonstrates the influence of twenty four motives, including three central constructs (space, nature and views) on consumer home choice and highlights the fact that autobiographical memories underpins many of the motives to impact on choice. Thirdly, it provides a model mapping out the interaction between utilitarian and hedonic motives, which evokes a network of feelings, sensations and emotions that shape consumer home choice. In doing so, the research provides theoretical insight into the link between the rational information-processing model and the experiential view of hedonic consumption in home purchases. This study has shown that a specific set of utilitarian and deep-seated hedonic factors interrelate to culminate upon one's home choice. The findings in this study maintain that while utilitarian factors are significant determinants of home choice, in themselves, they do not always tell the whole story.
This new knowledge of how and why homebuyers chose what they did is valuable to practitioners in predicting accurate property demands and value. Real estate agents can-sell more effectively by matching a property to a homebuyer's hedonic needs. The information in this study also helps homebuyers understand that their home choice is guided by internal images and deep-seated motives derived from many years of past experience but more importantly, they can decide if these motives justify the price they pay for the property. Finally, the model gives future researchers a new framework to access meanings necessary for understanding homebuyer choice and allows a closer examination of the mechanics of these influences on the housing market and its demands.||en_NZ