Green Home Building and Current Real Estate Market

In my last post, I have explained some of the green benefits of commercial modular construction, and its relevance in terms of providing an easy and sustainable solution for building energy efficient & Eco-friendly schools buildings, business offices, and healthcare facilities. In today’s post, I would like to explore green home building as it pertains to the construction of new homes in the US. But fist, I would like to examine the current state of the real estate market, which greatly influences the demand for new housing construction, and renovation of the existing homes.

Current State of the US Real Estate Market

Although, we are still suffering from numerous consequences of the housing bubble including declining real estate values, and people being on a fence about purchasing new homes, the need for new housing is still there, and will continue to grow. It is estimated that we need about a million and a half of new homes built annually in order to keep up with the population growth in the US. This may become true once the housing market stabilizes.

Currently there are over two million of unsold homes in the inventory. It would take roughly about 6 months to sell them. Distressed – foreclosed homes account for about a third of all the existing home sales. These homes sell at great discounts, but will require a significant amount of reconditioning and home remodeling work done in order to bring them back to shape.

Because the inventory of homes for sale is constantly being replenished due to new homes and foreclosed homes coming onto the market, it remains unclear how long it will take to fully clear/sell the back log in the inventory of unsold homes. What is clear though, is that the number of unsold homes is gradually shrinking, but the real estate prices still continue to fall, and this trend may continue for a while. This is one of the reasons why many potential buyers are still wary of purchasing a new home.

The up trend in existing home sales

“But existing home sales have increased by 13 per cent over the past six months and by 38 per cent from their low in mid-2010, so there’s clearly an underlying recovery in place.”

Current New Home Building Rate

The annual new home building rate is currently at about 700,000 new homes being built per year in the US. It is plausible to predict that this rate will continue to increase once the real estate market stabilizes. No one can tell exactly when this is going to happen, but the current new home building trend is positive.

Green Home Builders are in demand by Environmentally Conscious Consumers

Many large and small home builders are now building green and energy efficient homes designed to be energy efficient, Eco-friendly and cost-effective for new homeowners.

Energy Efficient Home Certification Programs

Energy Star Qualified New Homes

If you are aiming for living in an energy efficient and Eco-friendly home that provides energy savings to you as a homeowner, and has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared conventionally constructed homes, then look for energy star certified new homes featuring all of the following:

  • Properly Insulated and well Sealed Home – the level of insulation in your new home must be adequate, and it must be properly installed. This will make your home more air-tight and better insulated from unwanted heat gain or loss. This will also reduce the load on your HVAC systems, which will result energy savings for you as a homeowner and will also benefit your community.
  • Dual-Pane Energy Star qualified Windows help prevent heat from entering the home via sunlight through the window, and cool air from escaping a home. These windows will help reduce your overall utility costs.
  • Energy Star qualified HVAC Systems – this one is pretty obvious, your energy star qualified home will have Energy Star certified heating and cooling equipment installed in it.
  • Energy Efficient Products & Light Fixtures – Energy Star certified homes will have environmentally-friendly products and fixtures including energy efficient lighting options such as CFLs, and LEDs integrated in it.
  • Green Home Building LEED Certification Program

    The US Green Building Council has a stringent set of standards that a home builder must meet in order to earn LEED (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”) certification credits for their newly built homes.
    LEED credits are awarded to homes that meet a certain standard for energy and water efficiency, its indoor air quality, the sustainability of building practices used in its construction, and the impact of the construction on the surrounding community and environment. Builders submit particular projects to the LEED board for review, which then certifies projects that meet their exceedingly stringent standards. The program maintains a list of all new home projects that have achieved LEED Certification on their website.

    List of References

    About the Author

    Aleksandr Biyevetskiy
    is an avid proponent of green building technology for residential and commercial construction, and sensible sustainability for business, government, and society. Some of the topics that he passionately writes about include (among other things) cool metal roofing, and environmentally-friendly PVC roofing systems for residential and commercial flat and lower slope roofs. Alex also maintains a personal blog in which he covers a variety of concurrent/relevant topics at

    Connect with Alex on Google Plus: Join me on Google+

    4 thoughts on “Green Home Building and Current Real Estate Market”

    1. Aleksandr, this was a really solid look at current and emerging trends in the real estate market. In our experience up north (Canada) we’re seeing largely the same thing – housing sales numbers increasing, but a continually wary new homebuyer crowd.

      Thanks for putting this together!

    2. I know home sales are up in many areas of the country. But prices have yet to follow. I’d give it another 3 years or so, before all the shadow inventory has been cleared.

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