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Home Builders Embracing Technology Amenities

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jenny Barrett, Chelsey Tyson
Parks Associates
972-490-1113
Email: jenny@parksassociates.com; chelsey@parksassociates.com

Home Builders Embracing Technology Amenities
Research finds more home builders in 2006 devoting time and resources to evaluating new technologies, seeking differentiation on enhanced entertainment options

Dallas, Texas January 19, 2006 — With the prospect of a tight market in 2006, home builders are increasingly seeking out new technologies, especially in home networking and audio distribution, to differentiate their offerings and boost sales, according to Parks Associates. The leading market research firm studying “digital living” technologies recently launched its 2006 Builder Insights project and reports that nearly 30% of builders have employees actively evaluating new technologies for their potential to improve their business in home sales, up from 25% in 2005.

“Interest rates are up, unsold inventories are high, and competition among home builders is heating up,” said Bill Ablondi, director of home systems research for Parks Associates. “For years, builders have emphasized amenities like larger kitchens, bigger closets, and elegant master baths. But in this digital era, lures are expected to include multiroom audio, home theater, security systems, and structured wiring, all of which appeal to the new ‘iPod Generation’ of home buyers.”

To gain greater insight into this growing market, Parks Associates, in partnership with Hanley Wood, LLC, the premier business-to-business media network serving North America’s residential and commercial construction industries, has launched 2006 Builder Insights, a multilevel project surveying builders’ sales of technology products and services. The project is designed for manufacturers and service providers to learn about the builders who are adding technology products to their offerings, the selection criteria they use to choose products and vendors, and what they need to help merchandise these amenities. The project includes both a broad-based survey of more than 500 local, regional, and national home builders and case studies of selected builders chosen based on their profitable technology sales strategies.

“Key product categories we are asking about include home theater and multiroom audio systems, structured wiring, central control and security systems, and central vacuum systems,” Ablondi said. “We also are analyzing current partnerships and future opportunities between builders and service providers to offer communication, broadband Internet access, security monitoring, and premium content services.”

2006 Builder Insights also provides builder-sales forecasts for home theater, multiroom audio, structured wiring, central controls, and security systems. For more information about 2006 Builder Insights, contact Parks Associates at 972-490-1113 or sales@parksassociates.com.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is a market research and consulting firm focused on all product and service segments that are “digital” or provide connectivity within the home. The company’s expertise includes home networks, digital entertainment, consumer electronics, broadband and Internet services, and home systems.

Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, multiclient studies, consumer research, workshops, and custom-tailored client solutions. Parks Associates also hosts Fall Focus and co-hosts CONNECTIONS (in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association) each year. www.parksassociates.com

About Hanley Wood:
Hanley Wood, LLC, is the premier media company serving housing and construction. Through five operating divisions, the company produces award-winning magazines and Web sites, marquee trade shows and events, rich data and custom marketing solutions. The company also is North America’s leading provider of home plans.

Founded in 1976, Hanley Wood is a $225 million company owned by JPMorgan Partners, LLC, a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co. www.hanleywood.com

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