More and more, energy-efficiency ratings are becoming a selling point in residential real estate listings. Whether it’s an Energy Star or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, a recent survey conducted by The Earth Advantage Institute, a non-profit group in Portland, OR, suggests that such certifications pay off. According to EAI’s research, new homes certified for sustainability and energy efficiency fetch 8% more, on average, than their non-certified counterparts. And existing construction with the same certification can see a premium of about 30%.
Banks and appraisers are beginning to catch on to these trends, enacting new training programs that teach their officers to recognize the benefits of energy efficient designs and distill them into their lending and appraisal practices. For example, a borrower’s potential for lower monthly costs for heating and electricity in an energy-efficient home could translate into better credit-worthiness and less risk for the underwriting bank.
Overall value isn’t the only the only place that energy efficiency pays. A review of listings in the Portland market showed that energy-efficient homes were on the market for 18 days less than comparable non-certified properties.