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For Houses, Being Green Is Easier Than You Think

An April 2018 membership survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 71 percent of those surveyed felt that the promotion of energy efficiency in their listings was either somewhat or very valuable. However, do eco-friendly features in a home guarantee a higher price point? Not necessarily, according to a recent analysis by Realtor.com.

To determine if greener homes typically necessitate a higher price, Realtor.com examined current listings in the top 200 U.S. metros, looking for eco-friendly amenities such as solar panels, smart thermostats, or bamboo floors. From there, they attempted to determine whether these green features consistently corresponded with higher prices for the homes involved. So, what did they find?

"Although Southern and Western states still lead the way in green technology adoption, eco-friendly features have grown in popularity across many regions of the United States," said Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for Realtor.com. "Many buyers have come to expect standard features, and homes integrating specialty green features are becoming more mainstream. However, in today's inventory-starved market, location still reigns supreme and the price of land can easily override the allure of special eco-friendly features."

Fort Collins, Colorado, was the metro most with the most homes featuring eco-friendly features as of the time of Realtor.com’s survey. The Fort Collins area boasted green features in 36 percent of its April 2018 listings. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, and San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, California metros were close behind with 35 percent of their April listings featuring eco-friendly amenities.

Within these top three markets, the relationship between green features and price point was by no means consistent. Realtor.com found that “green” home were going for essentially the median home price in Fort Collins. In Dallas, green features would bump the home price up by around four percent. In Sunnyvale/San Jose/Santa Clara, some of the green homes were actually selling for five percent below the median home price. Realtor does point out that California’s high median home price should be factored into this analysis, however.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, featured the highest premium for green features among the top 10 “green” metros—homebuyers could expect to pay as much as 19 percent more to nab that solar-powered dream home. In Salinas, California, however, Realtor.com found green listings available at 14 percent below the median home price.

To read the full report on green homes and affordability, click here.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 15 years of experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David.Wharton@DSNews.com.
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