city illustration

© venimo - AdobeStock

Report: Energy Efficiency Drives Interest in New Homes

February 12, 2021

When it comes to a new home, house hunters apparently want to hear more about the eco-friendly components and designs. Energy efficiency is a primary driver in homebuyer preferences for a new home, according to newly released research of 3,000 home buyers from the National Association of Home Builders, presented Thursday during its virtual 2021 International Builders’ Show.

The top green features buyers said they desired in their new home:

  • Energy Star–rated windows and appliances
  • Efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs
  • Energy Star rating for the whole house

The buyers surveyed said they preferred to use green options when given a choice, such as in the use of more durable materials and products that could help lower their utility bills.

Buyers said they were willing to pay, on average, $9,292 more upfront for a home if it meant they could save $1,000 annually on utility costs.

They’re willing to spend more than $2,000 upfront for a home that is certified to an above-code standard for health and wellness. Those features have grown in importance among home shoppers since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the NAHB’s report.

Health and wellness features could include zone heating, appliances that supply purified air (such as fans with ultraviolet-C lighting installed), indoor air quality sensors, and a greater connection to the outdoors.

“We’ve got to teach people how to live in green homes, how these homes operate, and even before we build to let them know what we could do because a lot of times we could do so much more for their life,” Brandon Bryant, founder of Red Tree Builders, a green home building company in Asheville, N.C., said during Thursday’s press conference highlighting the report at IBSx.

More Coverage From the International Builders’ Show

Most, Least Desirable Home Features Right Now

New-Home Buying Rush Likely to Continue in 2021

The 2021 New American Home Unveils ‘Design Flip’

Reevaluating Whether a Home Supports Personal Wellness

Inside the Biggest Remodel of 2021

NAHB Announces Top Sustainable and Green Building Trends and Features in Homes,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Feb. 11, 2021)