Green Homes Market Expected to Increase Fivefold by 2016

March 06, 2012

Green remodeling is growing especially fast due to the economy and decline in new home construction according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s findings from a new Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study. The results were released at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Orlando, FL.

Green homes comprised 17 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2011 and are expected to grow to between 29 to 38 percent of the market by 2016. This equates to a fivefold increase, growing from $17 billion in 2011 to $87-$114 billion in 2016, based on the five-year forecast for overall residential construction.

According to the study, construction industry professionals report an even steeper increase in green home remodeling; 34 percent of remodelers expect to be doing mostly green work by 2016. Many homebuilders have shifted to the remodeling market due to the drastic drop in new home construction.

“The housing market is critical to the U.S. economy,” said Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw-Hill Construction. “And 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.”

“This study demonstrates phenomenal growth in green building and indicates that we can expect even larger increases in the coming years,” said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, FL. “In a sample of NAHB builder and remodeler members, nearly 90 percent 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.”

Many factors are driving the green homes market, with “higher quality” and “increases in energy costs” topping the list, indicating that today’s green homebuyer is not just a green consumer. Buyers recognize that green homes have lower bills due to higher building performance. While green is growing across the U.S., three regions are seeing higher than average growth. The West Coast has seen the highest green growth; the Midwest’s northern region, west of the Mississippi, is second highest; and New England ranks third.

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