As the housing market continues to boom, green homes are becoming increasingly important to homebuyers. This is according to a new study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The study surveyed 232 builders and remodelers from across the U.S. They found that over half of the builders (54%) were currently building at least 16% of their new homes green. By 2020, they expect that number to grow to 81%.
The trend extends to home remodelers as well. They found that 39% of remodelers are currently constructing at least 16% of their new homes green. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 60%.
These numbers are increasing in spite of the increased cost of building green. Most builders and remodelers report that green materials average 5% higher cost.
“Builders and remodelers have long recognized that green is the future of home building,” says NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, MO. “Since we first began partnering on this study with Dodge Data & Analytics in 2006, we’ve seen that commitment grow. The study’s recent findings reinforce this continued growth, with new homeowner feedback showing a desire and expectation that new homes be high performing, particularly when it comes to energy conservation. Most builders recognize that they need to be at least conversant in green to stay competitive.”
“These findings suggest that attention to healthier homes may offer an even higher gain for green in the residential market,” says Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights at Dodge Data & Analytics, “especially as consumers become better informed about the features that make homes more sustainable and healthier, and begin to demand them.”
Renewable energy is also increasing. By 2018, nearly half of builders and remodelers expect to be using solar photovoltaic (48%) and ground source heat pump (52%) technologies. In the past two years, 21% of homebuilders have built net zero homes.
Prior to the study, it was assumed that the environmentally minded millennials were the ones most interested in green homes. However the study found that the largest demographic of buyers of green homes were buyers age 55 and older. It appears that greater familiarity with home features leads to a greater emphasis in the home performance. Therefore, as the millennials gain more experience with homeownership, the demand will even increase.
The new study, “Green and Healthier Homes: Engaging Consumers of All Ages in Sustainable Living SmartMarket Report,” is available here. http://analyticsstore.construction.com/smartmarket-reports/2015GreenHomesSMR.html