A new study from The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) found that new homes built to a LEED standard for energy-efficiency are worth more in resale value than homes without green features.
“The Value of LEED Homes in the Texas Real Estate Market: A Statistical Analysis of Resale Premiums for Green Certification,” study, looked at more than 3,800 green-certified homes including LEED-certified homes built in Texas between 2008 (when the program was created) and 2016 and found that these homes are worth an average of $25,000 more in resale value than conventional homes.
That’s an 8% premium in resale value for the average new Texas home, which sells for $311,000. Homes built to a wider range of green standards such as Energy Star saw a 6% increase in value.
LEED-certified homes use about 20-30% less energy than a home built to standard code, on average, saving homeowners money overtime on utility bills. Some homes report up to 60% energy savings, which lowers energy costs.
“As developers and buyers continue to see the value in LEED, we expect the number of LEED-certified homes to increase in the Texas market,” said Taryn Holowka, senior vice president, USGBC in a news release. “Homes that are built to meet green standards deliver more value to the seller and also ensure that buyers will have a high-value sale down the road and reap the benefit of lower utility bills while living in the home.”
However, though LEED homes have benefits for the overall environment and homeowners’ wallets, buyers can have a hard time seeing the appeal at first. Overcoming that objective means introducing more people to the LEED benefits, explaining the homes features and retaining sales agents that understand the value.
USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact report found that the residential green construction market is expected to grow from $55 million in 2015 to $100.4 million in 2018, representing a year-over-year growth of 24.5%. Currently, there are more than 6,890 homes certified or pursuing LEED-certification in Texas.
As the program grows, more builders are sure to get on board with green building and continue to see the value of these programs.