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Green Homes Price Premium

Green Labels add Value to Homes

More Evidence of Green Value

A recent analysis of homes done by UCLA Berkley researchers found that a green labeled home (LEED for Homes, NAHB Green, Energy Star, etc) had a mearurably higher value than non-green (standard) homes.

Green Homes Price Premium

Researchers from UC Berkeley and UCLA have found that green home labels typically add almost 9% to the value of a California home.

The “Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” study found that a typical California home valued at $400,000 sells for an average of 8.7%, or $34,800, more when it has a green certification label.

The study was conducted by researchers with UC Berkeley and UCLA who hoped to answer the question: Does the investment in an energy-efficient home pay off during resale? The short answer is yes.

According to the study, price premiums resulting from green certification were closer to 12% in hotter parts of the state. It also found the premiums were strongly correlated with an area’s environmental ideology as measured by the number of hybrid vehicle registrations — a phenomenon dubbed “the Prius effect” by visiting UC Berkeley professor Nils Kok, who led the study.

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Just as “people sometimes buy a Toyota Prius not just because of the fact that it’s more efficient but because of environmental virtue,” Kok said, “people might buy a green home because of ideology. In areas where the penetration of hybrid vehicles is higher, we find the premium paid for green homes is higher as well.”

Even though buyers of green homes were likely to save an average of $700 in energy bills annually, “consumers value aspects other than just energy savings alone when purchasing a green home,” said Kok, who cited intangibles such as enhanced indoor air quality and better insulation.

The study estimated that the cost of making a home 35% more efficient was $10,000, “so the benefit of green homes far outweighs the cost,” Kok said.

Green home labels seem to be increasing in value. Kok noted that green-label homes sold in the latter part of the five-year study period “seemed to have gone up relative to the beginning of the sample period.”

What about areas outside California?  Well increasingly as more regional areas add green MLS fields that support identification of green home features, it is becoming easier for real estate appraisers to identify the local impact on market value. Learn more at our Green Real Estate Toolkit.

Reprinted from LA Times Article

 

Finding Green Values

How to find a Green Appraiser

Finding Green ValuesOne of the key players in the real estate transaction process is the appraiser. Much like a certified green home has a third-party verification, an appraiser provides an independent third-party financial analysis of a home.

However, it’s often difficult for buyers and builders of high-performance green homes to find appraisers that are knowledgeable about the characteristics of the home, can find appropriate sales comps on the Green MLS, and more importantly, who are able to attribute market value based on the home’s performance.

Fortunately this is starting to change. On Earth Day, the Appraisal Institute, a membership and professional development organization for appraisers, announced a call for collaboration to the real estate community. The goal is to facilitate data sharing for others in the financial transaction process (brokers, lenders, mortgage brokers, underwriters, etc). The thinking is that if appraisers can more easily have access to information about a LEED-certified home, that could serve as useful information as a comparable property for another high-performance home that is the subject of a valuation assignment.

An April 28 FoxBusiness.com story discussed how the need for green lending products and proper appraisals is driving a new market niche. The story reached a potential audience of nearly 1.75 million unique online visitors.

To find the best financing for green projects, the article recommended working with brokers, lenders and appraisers who are familiar with energy-efficient products, advising readers to turn to organizations like the Appraisal Institute to find qualified appraisers.

What you can do

So, what can you do to help the process along? First, make sure the appraiser assigned to your case is trained in green building. And second, help the valuation expert find homes that are comparable to yours. If you know of other homes that have been built in your area to any kind of green building standard or energy rated with third-party verification, let the appraiser know about this. It may not be a great comparable property, but then again, maybe it is.

Encourage your lender to share green education events or open houses so their loan officers and appraisers can learn more about local market activity.

Green builders can also help the real estate community by populating their local databases when available. Even a custom home built-to-suit can be listed on an MLS with a listing time of 1 day if the homeowner is comfortable sharing their price data. This can provide one more data point that will help support local market values.

All this and more will help lead to more data on high-performance green homes, such as LEED-certified, which will allow appraisers to identify appropriate adjustments to market value for green homes.