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. (Read more green building stories.)