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Home arrow Blog arrow 4/5/07-Green Homes Save Money, Make Owners Happier

4/5/07-Green Homes Save Money, Make Owners Happier PDF Print E-mail
Written by GreenerBuildings.com   
Thursday, 05 April 2007

 
NEW YORK, April 3, 2007 -- New market research by McGraw-Hill Construction finds that approximately 0.3 percent of all homes in the U.S. are "green," incorporating elements in three of five environmental building categories.

Although the number of green homes is small, the market is estimated at about $2 billion, thanks in large part to the fact that owners of green homes are both substantially happier with their homes than other homeowners, and more likely to spread the word about the benefits of building green.

The survey was co-sponsored by McGraw-Hill and the National Association of Home Builders, and it found that people who bought green are 85 percent happier with their new green homes versus their previous non-green ones. And more than a quarter of new green homeowners reported first hearing about green homes through word of mouth.

In addition to the evangelical nature of green homeowners, the survey also found that green products are taking center stage in remodeling projects as well. About half the overall U.S. homeowner population has recently done some renovation work on their home, and approximately 40 percent of those are using green products in their remodeling.

"This is another powerful finding," says McGraw-Hill vice president Harvey M. Bernstein. "As home prices increase and homeowners stay in their homes longer, remodeling becomes a key market opportunity. It's encouraging that there is already so much of the community aware of these green product options and, more importantly, using them."

A McGraw-Hill estimate from 2006 found that a much larger number of homes -- 2 percent -- incorporated at least one green building element, such as energy-efficient appliances, but the market appears to be turning much greener. Bernstein added, "It's also powerful to find that people are really starting to commit to building truly green homes, moving away from just adding energy efficient appliances or one aspect that's green. They're paying attention to the holistic benefit of green."

Demographics unearthed in the research showed that the average 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 than men.

More than any other factor, saving money by building green was the motivating factor for these homeowners. 63 percent reported financial concerns as the key reason behind buying a green home. About 50 percent reported environmental concerns and family health as motivators.

Among the largest obstacles to growing the green building market are lack of awareness, higher costs, and scarcity of the homes. Over 60 percent of respondents cited education, additional costs involved in green homes and the availability of the homes as obstacles they had to surmount
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