Green Homes Gain Heat in Cool Housing Market

Buyers willing to pay for eco-upgrades, survey says
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 9, 2008 7:55 PM CDT
Michael Mobbs, a consultant on eco-friendly housing developments and office projects, stands outside his three bedroom self-sufficient house in Sydney Monday, May 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Eco-friendly homebuilders are faring well despite the plunging US housing market, Newsweek reports. With home sales at a 15-year low, a national survey showed that buyers last year were ready to spend an extra $8,964 on a home that cuts utility bills. "It's taken almost as a fait accompli that green building is where the market is headed," a pro-green advocate said.

Green upgrades like improved insulation and safer paints don't bust the budget, either. A $40,000 photovoltaic solar system may be pricey—twice the cost of a usual heating and cooling system—but one homebuyer says it can pay for itself in 6 years. "People know it's good for their pocketbook, they know it's good for the environment, and they like the badge,” one builder says.