Sustainable Living in Tucson Comes at a Price: Rents 79% More Expensive in Green Buildings


RENTCafé Blog is reporting on a survey conducted on the green building movement. In a survey of 2,631 renters the results on how much renters would be willing to pay to live in a green rental building are revealing. As it turns out, most of those who expressed interest in green living are not willing to pay more than $100/month extra rent for a green apartment. In reality however, it costs $560 more per month on average to live in a green rental than in a regular, non-LEED-certified apartment.

Sustainability is indeed an invaluable amenity, yet renters in some cities fare much worse than others when it comes to the price they pay for living green: while renters in Tucson pay a staggering 79% more rent to live in a green community compared to those living in a non-green building, sustainable apartments in Madison, WI costs an astounding 94% more! 

  • Making up only 2% of new apartment supply in 2008, the number of green multifamily units has grown exponentially in the last 8 years and now takes up a whole 17% of 2016’s new large-scale multifamily construction.
  • Chicago overtakes other popular urban hubs – including Seattle, Manhattan, and San Francisco – in green rental stock, boasting an impressive 13,800 apartments classified as “green.”
  • The interest for green living is evenly distributed across all generations: 34% are Millennials, 34% are Gen-Xers and 32% are Baby-Boomers.  The largest share of those willing to spend more than $500 in additional rent for a green-certified apartment is made of Baby-Boomers.
  • Our survey also revealed that the most popular green apartment features are “energy-saving appliances and thermostats,” followed by “water-saving plumbing” and “eco-friendly transportation options.”
  • Although there aren’t many reports on specific long term energy savings, renting green brings along some savings in terms of energy and maintenance costs, as well as health benefits such as better air quality and temperature comfort, not to mention that priceless “do-good feeling.” But these added benefits come at premium prices, preventing many from leading the sustainable life they desire. Here are the cities where we see the biggest differences in price:

For full survey click here: