Hot Off the Press: Consumer Priorities

Green Builder Media’s recent survey reveals top-of-mind topics for consumers.

COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s market intelligence division, recently conducted a survey of nearly 1,200 consumers across the United States.


The majority of respondents were Millennials, who have seized the top influencer position in the housing market, spending more money on buying and remodeling homes than any other audience segment. The highest number of respondents were from large housing markets like California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Colorado.

Climate State of Mind

The survey results reinforce how important climate change has become to homeowners: 55% of respondents claim that they have considered moving due to climate change and just under 60% are concerned about climate change affecting the value of their homes and communities.

Respondents indicated that healthy, connected, resilient, net zero (energy, water, and carbon), all-electric, and solar are all important attributes for their homes.

How important are the following aspects to you for your home

Respondents said they would invest in heat pump HVAC systems, demand-side energy management systems, battery storage, heat pump water heaters, and other advanced technologies to make their homes net zero energy.

What would you invest in to make your home net zero energy

They also expressed willingness to invest in leak detection and water management systems, low flow plumbing fixtures, water-efficient appliances, and hot water recirculation systems to make their homes net zero water.

What would you invest in to make your home net zero water

Post-COVID Priorities

In a post-COVID era, consumers are looking for natural, artistic, minimalistic, back-to-earth, family-focused lifestyles.

Which of the following terms would you use to describe your perfect lifestyle

Respondents indicated that they’re continuing to move out of cities and into suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. While 33% say that they want to live in the heart of a vibrant city, 38% want to live in a suburb outside of a city, 20% want to live in a small town with relatively convenient access to a city, and 10% prefer living in a remote rural area.

The survey also corroborated the extreme shift in how and where we work. Only 31% of respondents indicated that they want to work in an office, whereas 37% want a hybrid model and 32% want to work completely remotely.

The growing interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) was also was also on display: 75% of respondents claimed that it is very important to work for a company that aligns with their values and interests, and 73% said that diversity and inclusion are very important in the workplace.

Additionally, the survey showed the growing influence of social media on buying behaviors. 60% of respondents indicated that they would purchase a product endorsed by a social media influencer.

The Trifecta: Sustainability, Resiliency, Efficiency

The takeaway: homeowner preferences continue to shift at a dramatic rate. Today’s homeowners are savvier than ever about high-performance, healthy, resilient homes, and they’re making purchase decisions accordingly. 

Ultimately, this transition in consumer awareness will topple the antiquated and unsuitable valuation metric of price-per-square-foot, or lowest upfront cost, and drive the market towards valuation metrics, lending vehicles, and appraisal approaches that incorporate sustainability, resiliency, and efficiency to measure long-term homeowner value. 

To remain relevant, building professionals and manufacturers alike must recognize and respond to these changing priorities.