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Green Home Market Expands Amid Economic Straits

By Mike Wheatley | February 10, 2012
  • A new study released today supports the view that green homes are the new “in-thing” in today’s construction sector, thought to be driven by continued economic uncertainty which is forcing people to look into alternative means of saving money wherever they can.

    Green home building
    Green homes are fast becoming the "in-thing" in real estate. Image courtesy of nikcname via flickr

    McGraw-Hill Construction today announced that green homes comprised an astonishing 17% of new residential home constructions over the last year, while their findings suggest that this share is expected to grow to anything between 29% and 28% in the next four years, equating to a five-fold increase in terms of value.

    The Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study also revealed an even greater increase in numbers for green home remodeling. According to the findings, 34% of remodelers will spend the majority of their time doing green work when 2016 comes around, a sharp 150% increase over activity levels in 2011. This is confirmed by the fact that many new home builders have shifted to remodeling work in light of the drastic reduction in new home builds – no less than 62% of those builders surveyed stated that the recessions had increased the amount of renovation work they are doing.

    Harvey M. Bernstein, vice-president of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw-Hill Construction, said in a press release that housing markets are critical for the economy, and as such, the green home market must be given the same level of respect:

    “The results of our study show that despite the drastic downturn in housing starts since 2008, green has grown significantly as a share of activity-- indicating that the green market is becoming an important part of our overall economic landscape."

    Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB, echoed those sentiments, adding:

    "This study demonstrates phenomenal growth in green building and indicates that we can expect even larger increases in the coming years. In a sample of NAHB builder and remodeler members, nearly 90% reported building green at some level. This is a powerful testament to the importance of green home building--and transforms the way we think of homes overall."

    McGraw-Hill produced the study in tandem with the National Association of Home Builders and Waste Management, in order to provide insights into opportunities in the residential construction sector. The study highlighted a number of benefits that businesses can gain from green building, the biggest being a competitive marketing advantage – indeed, more than 46% of builders reported that green homes were easier to market in the current economy.

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