Green features? Homebuyers are still saying yes

By Kelly Leighton | June 30, 2016 | 2 min. read

Survey says: Green elements in a home are still appealing to buyers.

According to the National Association of Homebuilder’s (NAHB) buyer preference survey, appliances rated by Energy Star® landed in second place out of 150 home and community features ranked by buyers.

Overall, Energy Star® appliances, an Energy Star® rating for the whole home, Energy Star® windows and “insulation higher than required code” all made the top 10 most-wanted features, according to homebuyers surveyed.

According to the report, the demand for certain green features in 2015 were similar to demands in this survey in 2012 and 2007.

Ninety percent of homebuyers last year labeled Energy Star® appliances essential or desirable, while Energy Star® windows received 87 percent of the vote. Homebuyers are also interested in “insulation higher than required code,” as 81 percent ranked that as essential or desirable.

Of all the green features, the less-desired was gas-filled insulating glass in windows. A solar water heating and electric system was also low on the list.

What cost are homebuyers willing to shell out for green features? Respondents are interested in paying more now to save on utility bills in the future, but they have a cutoff.

According to the report, the median amount buyers would spend on energy-efficient products suggests that buyers want a 20 percent rate of return to invest in energy efficiency. The report suggests that buyers need to invest slightly below 10 percent as the average rate of return. Additionally, the median rate of return demanded by buyers to invest in energy efficiency was 20 percent, identical to 2007 and 2012.

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