The Housing Chronicles Blog: Home buyers now willing to pay more for energy efficiency

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Home buyers now willing to pay more for energy efficiency

In a promising sign that home buyers are now willing to put their money behind their wish lists, a recent presentation at this week's Int'l Builder's Show in Orlando reveals a demand trend towards smaller, more energy-efficient homes in which high-quality features outrank larger spaces:

Home buyers are willing to pay for energy efficiency, prefer smaller homes with high-quality products and amenities, and for the first time, listed outdoor features such as exterior lighting and fenced yards in their top 10 essential "must have" features...

According to the NAHB survey, when asked what they would be willing to pay if their energy costs could be reduced roughly $1,000 a year, 51 percent checked $5,000 to $10,999 and another 16 percent said $11,000 or more. Thirty-two percent said they were willing to pay less than $5,000.

One caveat: Respondents were not asked which technologies they preferred, but Ahluwalia said most of the savings would come from better insulation and more efficient HVAC and indoor-air quality systems.

Another interesting finding of the study is that more people are willing to trade off living room space for a larger family room. While 53 percent preferred a family room and living room of equal size, a full 47 percent preferred a much larger family room-or even no living room.

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