In a study covering existing and new houses sold from May 2010 through April of this year, the Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit group based in Portland, Ore., found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8 percent more on average than noncertified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area, according to the Los Angeles Times. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30 percent more.
But officials caution that using average sales prices pulled from multiple listing service data without trying to measure "comparable" homes against one another directly may not be conclusive. For instance, newly constructed certified houses may be more expensive to start, and existing certified homes may be larger and more likely to be in higher-cost neighborhoods where homeowner adoption rates for energy-efficiency measures are higher.
A study conducted two years ago by the institute in Seattle and Portland identified what may be another plus: Homes marketed with energy-efficiency certifications appear to sell faster on average than those without. The study tried to come up with rough comparability in appraisal terms between certified and noncertified properties, and it found that in Portland, certified homes spent 18 fewer days on the market after listing than noncertified counterparts. In both Portland and Seattle, researchers documented price premiums — 9.6 percent in Seattle, 4.2 percent in Portland — in a statistical analysis with a 95 percent confidence level.
For more information: www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20110828,0,111611.story