Green construction loses its popularity in NYC


When everyone was rolling in dough, it was hard to resist the allure of green-friendly construction. But now that New York City's once infallible real estate market is cracking, the appetite for environmentally conscious homes is falling fast.

New York Magazine reports that in the New York area, "Sales figures in the first four months of this year show that when it comes to real estate, the economy has trumped the environment. According to statistics compiled by New York and Streeteasy, sales are at least as sluggish, if not more so, in ecofriendly condos as in other projects since January."

When it comes to green-friendly remodeling projects, I think consumers should be similarly bearish: At this early stage of the movement, few environmentally-sound remodeling decisions will pay for themselves in the form of reduced utility payments. A few years from now, prices will likely come down and green may be good for your wallet too -- and the increasing focus on energy independence and the environment will likely only make the tax incentives more attractive.

If you're looking to go green and don't have an unlimited budget, here's my advice: Pick the projects that will generate strong returns on investment and skip the rest for now -- their time will come.