Green is “in vogue” … if you’re talking about this year’s trends in real estate.

Umbrella over house image

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer who follows housing trends. She says potential homeowners are looking for softer colors and copper surfaces. But they’re also considering how a home will handle the changing climate.

Ballinger: “It’s not just the square footage and the look any more of a house that matters.”

Homes built to withstand tropical storms are common in Florida, the Carolinas, and other coastal communities that have endured hurricanes for years.

But after Superstorm Sandy surprised people in New York and New Jersey, people farther north and even farther inland also began looking for homes that can withstand violent storms.

More frequent wildfires are making fire-resistant shingles attractive, and water-saving features are now a selling point for areas in drought. For example, many homeowners are looking beyond low-flow shower heads to larger solutions, such as water-smart irrigation and rainwater harvesting systems.

So why are so many trends this year linked to the environment?

Ballinger: “It’s complex thinking about what nature can do.”

As the climate continues to change, people want homes that can withstand future surprises.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Copyright protected.

Bud Ward was editor of Yale Climate Connections from 2007-2022. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as assistant director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission...