Study: What’s 'Green' to Home Buyers


What is it about a “green home” that makes a potential home buyer want to spend green?

That is among the questions a new study seeks to answer. The study, What Green Means to Home Buyers: Perceptions and Preferences, was recently published by the National Association of Home Builders’ publishing arm, BuilderBooks.

The study focuses on green/high-performance features in the home and community, the NAHB said.

It examines consumers' attitudes of various green features, concepts or terminologies; the resonance of those terms as potential marketing tools; and the likelihood that the home purchase decision may be influenced by any of these features or terms.

Key Findings

Ninety percent of respondents said a “safe community” is the key driver in a home purchase decision, followed by “energy efficiency,” at 88 percent.

The study also reports buyers factor low maintenance (85 percent), lower operating costs (85 percent) and resiliency (84 percent) into the home buying experience.

Additional key findings include the most common words home buyers use to describe “green” homes. They are:

  • 32 percent: Efficient, Energy Efficient, Water Efficient, High Efficiency
  • 15 percent: Eco-friendly, Environmentally-friendly, Environmentally-responsible Environmentally-safe, Environmentally-conscious
  • 8 percent: Solar, Solar Power, Solar Energy, Solar Panels
  • 4 percent: Lower Costs, Lower Utility Bills, Saves Money

A ‘Useful Tool’

The study was conducted by NAHB in 2015 and is based on a survey of home buyers nationwide. Results from the study are available by age, income, race and Census division, among other demographic characteristics.

© / BartekSzewczyk

Thirty-two percent of home buyers studied use terms like "efficient" and "energy efficienty" to describe green homes. Words like "environmentally friendly" are less often used to describe green homes.

"This new study is an incredibly useful tool to help builders and remodelers determine not only consumer attitudes towards green homes, but also which green features consumers care most about," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, MO.

"We have seen incredible growth in green and sustainable building over the years, and the results of this survey only further solidify the continued consumer interest in green building, and which attributes matter most these buyers."

The study is available for purchase ($115.95 Retail/$79.95 NAHB Member, ISBN 978-0-86718-739-7) at


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Contractors; Green building; Green design; Home builders; National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); North America

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