The LA Times reported on a study of energy-efficient homes conducted by two University professors from 2007 to early 2012. Matthew E. Kahn of UCLA and Nils Kok of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, used a real estate transaction base of 1.6 million homes in California to conduct a study on the value of green homes and whether there was a premium in the sale of that home due to green features. Of the homes in the study 4,321 sold with EnergyStar, LEED or GreenPoint rating. When analyzed with other similar homes that sold during that time, but without energy-efficient upgrades a 9% premium was noted for the energy-efficient homes.
Curiously they did not find a correlation between areas with higher utility costs and a premium for green homes but they did find what they called the “Prius Effect”. Areas that had more registered hybrid cars had a higher percentage of green homes sold which showed premiums for those energy-efficient systems. Apparently these premiums are in line with what several European country studies have found.
Although LA Times’ Kenneth R. Harney described the energy-efficient homes market in the US as a “politically sensitive issue” with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as one of the largest organizations lobbying Congress to “thwart adoption of any form of mandatory labeling of existing houses, arguing that an abrupt move to adopt such a system could have severely negative effects.” While parts of that may be true, and misconstrued, the NAR (National Association of Realtors) has been promoting REALTORS® for over 4 years to become NAR GREEN certified and work with local Multiple Listing Services in their areas to help add energy-efficient data fields to benefit homeowners with energy upgrades and new construction sustainable homes. More recently NAR has been working to develop the Real Estate Transaction Standards (RETS) that will provide a flow-through of home features, including energy-efficient features from Builders to REALTORS® to Lenders to Appraisers which will allow a more efficient method of gathering data for analysis of premiums relating to sustainability.
Read Mr. Harney’s article in the LA Times by clicking here.