Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: November 1, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Going green? New homes may not need to.

According to SmartMarket Brief Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017, one-third of single-family homebuilders said they build the majority of their homes green and more than half of these homebuilders reported they are “dedicated” green builders, building more than 90 percent of their homes green. Growth is expected to slow a bit, but 44 percent of single-family homebuilders are expected to build mostly green in 2022.

More than one-third of multifamily builders reported they are building at least 60 percent of their projects green. This number is anticipated to increase to 47 percent in 2022. Remodelers are also following this trend, 20 percent reported they do at least 60 percent of their projects green, and that number is expected to rise to 35 percent in 2022.

While both builders and remodelers agree that the cost of building green is more expensive than traditional homes, they estimate it costs only about 5 to 10 percent more. However, most builders and remodelers believe consumers will pay more. Seventy-one percent of single-family builders, 66 percent of remodelers and 57 percent of multi-family builders believe their customers will pay extra to get green products.

It seems as though consumers are most enthralled by the long-term utility cost savings and operating efficiency, as well as healthier homes and quality construction. The most common way to make a home green is to make it energy-efficient, and making it a healthy indoor living environment is also a top contender.

However, there are barriers. The biggest obstacle is that some consumers are not willing to pay additional costs, but this has seen a decrease in the past three years. Appraisers not understanding the long-term values of green is also a barrier, though this category has also seen a drop in worry among builders and remodelers.