Results of an NAHB study show that a growing percentage of multifamily buyers are interested in green features and more builders and developers are responding accordingly.
Survey respondents represented nearly 56 companies. According to the results, 76% of respondents said that buyers and renters are willing to pay more for green amenities, with a median increase amount limit of 2%. Among green building practices, 89% of respondents are installing energy-efficient appliances and lighting; 79% are specifying windows with low-E glass; and 64% are selecting recycled or recyclable products. Half of the respondents reported using more insulation than required by code.
The results trended up or down depending on region. For example, 100% of West Coast respondents are using low-E glass and installing energy-efficient appliances and lighting, while only 64% of Midwest respondents are using low-E glass and 77% are specifying energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
Among the products that buyers are asking for, energy-efficient appliances and lighting were most popular, with 95% of all respondents indicating buyers want these features. Fifty-four percent said consumers want open space; 37% indicated water-conserving appliances/fixtures or irrigation controls; and 32% said smaller lots/floor plans. The least popular item was solar panels, at 12%.
For this question, beyond energy efficiency, regional preferences again varied greatly. Only 20% of West Coast builders said buyers want smaller lots/floor plans, while 36% of Midwest builders indicated this option. Solar panels were significantly more popular with Western respondents.