Green Homebuyers Motivated by Lower Operating Costs

St. Louis, MO (March 26, 2007)- People who have purchased green homes say they are happy with their investments, with 85 percent saying they are more satisfied than they were with their previous, traditionally built homes, according to a home buyer survey released today.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and McGraw-Hill Construction, which conducted the research, released preliminary results of the findings at the annual National Green Building Conference that opened Sunday in St. Louis.
The survey found that that 63 percent of buyers are motivated by the lower operating and maintenance costs that come with homes that are energy and resource efficient. Nearly 50 percent said they are motivated by environmental concerns and their family’s health.
“We’re excited that green home owners are so happy, and that this new research quantifies this customer satisfaction. But we are certainly not surprised. Energy efficiency, water and resource conservation, sustainable or recycled products, and indoor air quality are increasingly incorporated into the everyday process of home building, demonstrating that green building is increasingly going mainstream.” said Ray Tonjes, chairman of the NAHB Green Building Subcommittee and an Austin, Texas home builder.
The new survey also backs up recent finding by the NAHB Economics staff that interest in green remodeling continues to grow. About 40 percent of those who have recently completed home remodeling or renovation work in their homes reported that they used green products or materials, the McGraw-Hill Construction research found.
In a survey of NAHB builders that the company conducted last year, McGraw-Hill Construction estimated that two percent- or $7.4 billion- of the residential construction market contained green building elements, such as energy efficient windows. The survey found that 0.3 percent of all existing United States homes are truly green – constructed using several different green building design features and products – a market sized at approximately $2 billion.
The research found that the new green homeowner is affluent and well educated, in his/her mid-forties and married, and also more likely to be from the Southern or Western states. Women are also more likely to be green homeowners. More than 60 percent of those surveyed say that consumer awareness, additional costs and the limited availability of homes are obstacles to green homes gaining a bigger market share.
NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local homebuilders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the more than 1.56 million new housing units projected for 2007.
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