A new National Association of Home Builders survey shows that more than 65 percent of home buyers want green houses, but only about 15 percent are willing to pay extra for such features. This is not particularly surprising — most people like the idea of doing something good for the environment, but only a small, fixed number of them are ever truly motivated. It has always been this way — and here’s why:
Although this environmentally conscious group tends to be relatively affluent, it’s not really their wealth but their level of disposable income that determines whether they actually go green. Home-buying consumers have to scale the lower rungs of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need before they can aspire to a self-actualizing concept like going green. That’s why, as long as it costs more to be environmentally conscious, green buyers will always be a small percentage of any consumer group.