Builders See 'Green' as Answer for Turnaround

June 10, 2011

The green building sector is offering some hope for the homebuilding industry, which has battled sluggish sales in recent years that has practically brought new-home construction to a halt.

But home builders that have opted for green construction are beating the odds and have even seen their market share rise slightly, according to panelists at a Standard & Poor’s housing summit this week in New York.

Home owners are being lured to green, seeing it as the greatest potential for appreciation of their home, panelists note. Green remodeling has also increased, partially due to federal tax credits available to home owners for energy-efficiency improvements.

In 2010, a third of all commercial real estate construction was green, as was 16 percent of residential construction. Jeff Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home, says one challenge is introducing more “green” products for the starter and move-up markets that won’t increase costs.

Also, some consumers are still not sold on green building, lacking information about energy savings and finding a qualified person to do the upgrade work, panelists noted.

Source: “Housing Panelists See Opportunity in Green Building,” HousingWire (June 9, 2011)

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