Sustainability is only becoming more top of mind for home buyers — especially for millennials, who make up nearly half of today’s buyers, and 78%1 of new home buyers. About 75%2 of millennials are willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products such as high-performance windows, solar panels and energy efficient appliances. However, this concern around sustainability doesn’t stop with the younger generation — 64%3 of Gen X and 57%4 of baby boomers would also be willing to pay a premium for sustainable products.
Whether your customers are millennials or baby boomers, here are four growing sustainability trends buyers may be looking for in their next home:
With 79% of millennials concerned about the environmental impact of products they buy, according to the Green Builder 2022 Cognition SMART Data Report, it’s important to make sure you’re including features that will help buyers better manage their carbon footprint. In fact, 30%5 of buyers found environmentally friendly features that control their heating and cooling costs to be very important when purchasing a home. Devices like smart thermostats, smart light bulbs and switches that communicate with one another help monitor and reduce6 usage remotely.
Appliances with smart capabilities can also help buyers better manage the power usage in their home. The Whirlpool® 7.4 cu. ft. Front Load Electric Dryer with Steam Cycles, for example, is an ENERGY STAR® certified electric dryer that comes with an EcoBoost™ option, which saves energy by using less heat and an extended cycle time.
Over 30%7 of consumers are more aware now of their home’s energy efficiency than prior to the pandemic. And they’re willing to pay more for it: Nearly 45%8 of buyers would pay up to $10k for energy efficient features.
When it comes to which features buyers prioritize, consider the results of the most recent “What Home Buyers Really Want” report from the National Association of Home Builders:
In the kitchen, induction cooktops are an efficient, energy-saving appliance to include. The electromagnetic technology heats and transfers all energy directly to the cookware. Because induction skips the step of heating the cooktop and less heat is lost to the surrounding air, it’s 74-90%12 efficient compared to gas and electric which are 35%13 and 65%14 efficient.
100% of Whirlpool manufactured washers are produced in Gold and Platinum level Zero Waste to Landfill manufacturing sites
When it comes to the laundry room, washers like the Whirlpool® 4.5 cu. ft. Closet-Depth Front Load Washer with Load & Go™ XL Dispenser that are ENERGY STAR® certified in the U.S. use about 25%15 less energy than regular washers. And, 100%16 of Whirlpool manufactured washers are produced in Gold and Platinum level Zero Waste to Landfill manufacturing sites, ensuring no additional waste is created in the process.
Sustainably Focused Companies
It’s not just the sustainability of the products themselves that’s of interest to buyers: 86% of women and 81% of men surveyed by Green Builder indicated that they prefer to buy from companies that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Sourcing building materials and products from companies that take this commitment seriously and set goals like net-zero emissions targets helps buyers to feel like they’re making a positive difference.
One way environmentally-conscious home buyers can support their environmental goals is by downsizing.17 After showing strong growth in 2021, the tiny home market is expected to increase by $3.33 billion18 by 2025. Aside from the benefit of cost savings for homeowners, tiny homes take fewer materials to build and less energy19 to power, heat and cool compared to traditional single-family houses. Downsizing to a tiny home was found to reduce household energy consumption by 45%20 and lifetime carbon emissions by 70%21 per person when compared to an average-sized home.
Whether you’re building and designing a tiny home or just a smaller space, make sure to include valuable space-saving solutions like extra storage,22 and multi-purpose furniture23. Appliances that maximize every square inch, like the Whirlpool® 2.9 Cu. Ft. 24 Inch Convection Wall Oven which doesn’t skimp on functionality with 9 different cooking modes. Other small space solutions, such as the Whirlpool® 24" Adaptive Induction Cooktop, take up minimal space but still offer efficient cooking and quick cleanup.