If you frequent this blog, you know that Black Canyon Builders is a vocal advocate for energy efficient building practices. The audience for the message is growing, but the studies linking energy efficient/green homes to sales figures have been few and far between. For those building a transitional home or a spec home, the evidence was not strongly in support of accruing the added initial expense of building for LEED-certification or Energy Star qualifications. That seems to be changing.
I recently stumbled on an article from late last summer (August 28, 2011), published by the L.A. Times. Written by Kenneth Harney, the article is titled, “Energy Efficient Home Seem to Sell Faster, Fetch Higher Prices.” Mr. Harney focuses on three separate studies conducted in Oregon, Washington and the hard hit California market.
The article acknowledges that while the studies referenced are strong, more statistics need to be gathered for broader application. With that, we move on to highlights of the good news:
- The Oregon study found that on average, third party certified (LEED or Energy Star, for example) homes sold at higher rates than standard homes. New homes sold at eight-percent higher and existing sold at 30-percent higher (30!!!).
- (Note: Some took issue with the comparables in the study, but the longterm trend supports the numbers.)
- A joint study in both Portland and Seattle showed that homes with third party verification sold more quickly than standard homes. In Portland, those homes sold an average of 18 days faster than comparable standard-built homes.
- Finally, the California study looked at return on investment. The study was limited to reviewing the return on investment of solar panels on homes in San Diego and Sacramento. The bottom line, was that after subsidies and rebates, the return on investment was 97-percent – far greater than the recognized ROI on bathroom and kitchen remodels.
We may not be out of the real estate woods yet, but this is great news for now and for the future.