Thursday, August 23, 2007

Unfortunately, Even Green Buildings Still Have To Have Mortgages

I am always fascinated by the fact that the financial services industry loves ponzi schemes, like the Savings & Loan debacle and the sub-prime mortgage mess. GreenbuildingsNYC has an interesting bit on the effect of the sub-prime mortgage situation on green building here

I spend quite some time thinking about mortgages, because the governmental framework which supports them has such a significant impact on what--and where--buildings are built. For example, the fact that home mortage interest is tax deductible allows people to build bigger houses. Because that interest deduction is applicable wherever your house is located, there is no disincentive to building ever further out from the urban centers.

Here, I think the subprime mortgage debacle will have a two-fold result: 1) banks will be less likely to lend to projects in general, and 2) to avoid risk, perceived "experimental" green building projects with a less reliable set of financial pro formas may be even more difficult to fund than traditional projects.

What's new is risky, and what's risky in the real estate world is rapidly going out of fashion.
This could put a dent in the nacent green building boomlet, but it will force projects to be sound financially, as well as ecologically.

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