Green Apartment Construction Blossoming, Yet Renter Survey Shows $560 Rent Premium Is 5 Times Higher Than Most Would Pay

Monday, December 19, 2016


Rent Cafe Blog (11/28/16) Balint, Nadia

A review of Yardi Matrix's U.S. inventory of more than 14 million apartment units in large rental buildings of 50 units or more found 44,800 new LEED-certified green units opened in 2015 in large-scale developments; this marks a 13-fold increase over 2008 numbers. In 2016, about 30,000 were open or being built as of mid-year, and approximately 59,000 green-certified apartments are expected to be completed by year's end, a four-fold gain from five years ago. According to U.S. Green Building Council records, there were 3,187 green multifamily residential projects in the U.S. as of October 2016, including buildings that are LEED-certified or in the process of being LEED-certified. The portion of sustainable large-scale mutlifamily buildings rose from 2 percent in 2008 to about 15 percent this year. Chicago was rated with the most green apartment units, with 13,800 in 62 large residential buildings. However, Cambridge, Mass., has the best ratio of residents to green apartments, with one green rental for every 39 persons. The Yardi Matrix rental survey also found the average rent in green-certified apartments is $560 more than in regular new apartments, while most renter respondents are only willing to pay an additional $100 per month. The most popular sustainable apartment features named by respondents are "energy-saving appliances and thermostats," "water-saving plumbing,” and "eco-friendly transportation options.”

Nadia Balint 12/19/2016

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