Here's some encouraging and not entirely surprisingly news from the housing front (and no, I'm not talking about the slow death of the McMansion): According to recently published findings from McGraw-Hill Construction's Green Home Builders and Remodelers Survey, the construction of eco-friendly single-family homes represented an impressive 17 percent -- or $17 billion if you want to put a economic activity-related price tag on it -- of the overall American residential construction market in 2011.
This is a massive jump from just 2 percent in 2005 and 8 percent in 2008; the number is expected to rise to as high as 38 percent within the next four years and represent a market share of $87 billion to $114 billion.
On the remodeling front, firms are expected to carry out 65 percent of their projects in a "green" manner by just next year with that number increasing to 77 percent by 2016. In 2009, only 22 percent of remodeling jobs incorporated green practices. Not too shabby.
According to the study, key factors driving these numbers upwards include "higher quality" and "increases in energy costs" while obstacles include "lack of consumer education" and "higher perceived first cost." McGraw-Hill Construction notes that these obstacles have became less of an issue between 2008 to 2011, signaling that green home building is significantly more mainstream. Additionally, 61 percent of building firms surveyed report that homeowners are willing to shell out more for green features while 66 percent of remodeling firms surveyed find the customers are comfortable with green-related premiums. This is believed to be the result of the energy- and money-saving features of green homes and "eco-friendly higher quality" associations.
When broken down by region, the West Coast (no shocker here) is seeing higher than average growth when it comes to green building and remodeling front followed by northern, west of the Mississippi sections of the Midwest. New England has also seen substantial growth.
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