Survey: More Homebuyers Want Energy-Efficient Homes

From The MReport.com 4/1/15

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Energy-efficient homes are increasingly becoming the most sought after feature for homebuyers, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). A survey of home buyers showed that efficiency is one of the most-wanted features and now builders are responding to the demand, with more new homes in April being built as energy-efficient.

“Our builder members are telling us that more and more buyers are looking at new homes for their efficiency in design and functionality,” said NAHB chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “Whether it’s improved insulation or sustainable building materials, today’s new homes can reach higher energy performance and greater durability than was possible even 20 years ago. And programs like the National Green Building Standard help consumers achieve their efficiency needs.”

According to an NAHB survey, millennials said that Energy Star certifications are a priority for them when buying a home. In addition, 84 percent of this group is willing to pay 2 to 3 percent more for an energy-efficient home because they can see a return on their utility bills. With millennials being the biggest demographic the housing industry is looking to tap into, builders are seeing a need to produce more efficient homes.

The survey also showed which features home builders are most likely to include in new homes built this year. Low energy windows, Energy Star-rated appliances and windows, and programmable thermostats were the top four of the 10 features they cited.

Some home buyers are looking for even more sustainable features, prompting an increasing number of single-family and multifamily builders to deliver green homes. Green builders incorporate energy, water, and resource efficiency; improved indoor environmental quality and sustainable and locally sourced products into their projects.

An NAHB survey of single-family home builders revealed that nearly 25 percent of builders installed alternative energy-producing equipment in new construction. This includes geothermal heat pumps and photovoltaic solar panels. The current 30-percent tax credit available for homeowners who install this equipment is set to expire at the end of 2016, which makes this a good time for interested buyers to consider purchases.

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