Whether it’s the use of repurposed materials, the preservation of a historic facade or the installation of double-paned windows, real estate developers are always touting the green features of their developments. But what do home buyers really think when they hear the word green?
The National Association of Home Builders’ publishing arm, BuilderBooks, recently released a study called “What Green Means to Home Buyers: Perceptions and Preferences.” The publication is based on a nationwide consumer preferences survey about green features in the home.
It tracks consumers’ attitudes towards green home features and the way they’re marketed. More importantly, it explores the weight green features carry in the decision to buy a home.
The NAHB discovered that the number one attribute house hunters want is a safe community — 90 percent cited that as a top influencer. However, the attributes that rounded out the top five were all associated with green design. Home buyers look for homes that are energy efficient (88 percent), low-maintenance (85 percent), have lower operating costs (85 percent) and are durable/resilient (84 percent).
The survey also asked home buyers which words they associate with green building. The top words had to do with efficiency, with 32 per cent citing efficient, energy efficient, water efficient and high efficiency as terms they would use to describe a green home:
- 32%: Efficient, Energy Efficient, Water Efficient, High Efficiency
- 15%: Eco-friendly, Environmentally-friendly, Environmentally-responsible, Environmentally-safe, Environmentally-conscious
- 8%: Solar, Solar Power, Solar Energy, Solar Panels
- 4%: Lower Costs, Lower Utility Bills, Saves Money
NAHB Chairman said that the study will be helpful for builders.
“This new study is an incredibly useful tool to help builders and remodelers determine not only consumer attitudes towards green homes, but also which green features consumers care most about,” he said.
What does “green” mean to you? Weigh in at @bbhnyc.