Content courtesy of the NFRC
Home buyers increasingly want to live in an energy-efficient homes, and statistics show that the proportion of them willing to pay extra is rising fast.
In June 2022, NFRC hosted the “Residential Green Building Demand & Certification Trends,” where a panel of speakers shared their results based on surveys.
The event began with the Director of leadership and sustainability for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sharing figures from the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report survey of realtors: 50 percent reported helping buyers purchase a home with green features, a leap from 36 percent in 2021. Almost two-thirds of the realtors said that energy-efficiency technologies are valuable or somewhat valuable selling points to potential buyers. “This speaks to the growing awareness and understanding of sustainable homes, and there is value from the realtor’s side in being able to highlight and point out the energy-efficiency capabilities of specific features.”
The survey also asked realtors which green features were most important to consumers, and the top ranked group was windows, doors, and siding, cited by 36 percent of respondents as very important and by 48 percent as somewhat important. The other two top priorities were location and interior comfort.
The next presenter, Manager of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Sustainability and Green Building program, said builders and realtors share the same perspective: energy-efficient homes are in demand. Its 2018 survey of 1,100 builders, NAHB found that 33 percent of builders built single-family homes with more than half of the features having green characteristics. When asked for reasons, some 68 percent of respondents said it was the right thing to do. About 47 percent cited the health benefits for occupants, and 42 percent found it boosted their professional reputation.
NAHB’s What Home Buyers Really Want 2021 survey showed efficient ENERGY STAR® windows were No. 1 on the list of most-wanted green features, with 83 percent of respondents considering them essential or desirable. They scored higher than ENERGY STAR® appliances and efficient lighting. About 65 percent of buyers said they wanted insulating glass with low-e technology. Further, triple-pane insulating glass windows ranked No. 5 on the list of green features with 73 percent indicating they were essential or desirable.
Underscoring this fact, significantly more buyers said they are willing to pay extra for a home if they understand it will lead to annual savings in utility costs, according to the survey. In fact, 57 percent said they are willing to pay $5,000 or more, on top of the price of the home, to save $1,000 a year in utilities.
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