Homeowners want energy-efficient homes, but only if the price is right, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders.
NAHB surveyed its members and
found that prospective home buyers want the benefits of new, more efficient
homes, but are unwilling to pay much more for a “green”
“Although we are seeing significant interest in green
building, cost effectiveness is clearly a key concern among home buyers,” said
NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder and developer in Tulsa, Okla.
“Builders said that among buyers who are willing to pay more for green
features, more than half -57 percent - are unlikely to pay more than an
additional 2 percent.”
The August survey coincides with news
that the NAHB’s nationwide green program continues to grow. More than 400
homes, developments and remodeling projects have been certified by the NAHB’s
research center, which administers the program and trains and accredits local
project verifiers. Of those projects, 43 have been certified to the National
Green Building Standard, approved earlier this year by the American National Standards
NAHB officials point out that preferences for
specific green building techniques are decidedly regional, with builders in the
West reporting much more interest in water efficiency than builders in other
areas. Interest in homes built with recycled materials is particularly high in
the Northeast and low in the South.
Only 11 percent of
builders nationwide indicated that their customers ask about environmentally
friendly features, according to the survey.
our members are increasingly taking the initiative to educate the home-buying
public about the benefits of green construction,” Robson
Overall, energy efficiency continues to be the primary
factor driving the green building movement, squaring with previous NAHB surveys
of home builders when asked about buyer preferences.
and more, our members are able to convince their clients of the benefits of a
home built with efficiency and sustainability in mind,” Robson said. “However,
when buyers prepare to sign on the dotted line, cost-effectiveness clearly
drives their decisions. We need to make sure that our energy policies reflect
that reality so that builders have the flexibility to use lot and site design,
high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and other features to achieve the
desired results at the right price.”