“Green” Certified Homes Sell for More in Portland Real Estate Market

I’m not usually one for a cut and paste post but this one came to my email from Earth Advantage as a press release and has merit for a its own thread.

Certified Homes Also Sit on Market for Less Time Aligning with Consumer’s Values and Higher Demand for “Green”

PORTLAND, OR – The growth in the number of “green” certified homes in the Portland metro region is attracting some significant attention. Over the past year, three percent of all new homes sold in the Portland Metropolitan Area carried a sustainable or “green” certification brand. These homes earned more in the market than non-certified homes, selling for an average price of $223 per square foot, versus $185 per square foot for non-certified, traditionally built homes.

This information was compiled by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) in Portland. The percentage quoted includes new home sales in Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia, Washington and Yamhill Counties. It does not include new home sales in Clark County, WA. RMLS began tracking the sale of green certified homes in 2007 when the certification search feature was implemented on the MLS database.

“Green” certified homes also sold faster than homes without certification. New “green” homes in the Portland Metro Area remained on the market for just of 66 days on average, while the average time on the market for all homes was 73 days. The announcement of Countrywide’s Green Incentive mortgage product that discounts the interest rate is sure to add further value to green homes.

“These findings are very important,” states Sean Penrith, Executive Director of the not-for-profit Earth Advantage, Inc. “We have long heard and touted that green building is the right thing to do, and it is. But now we have actual data that points to higher value for green homes and reduced time on the market. This is the tipping point, and in five years, builders that are not identifying green in their practices will undoubtedly be marginalized.”

“Green” certification includes third-party certified Earth Advantage® homes, Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR® co-labeled homes, ENERGY STAR, and LEED® for Homes. For the period ending April 30, 2008, 309 housing units in the study received either Earth Advantage or an Earth Advantage/ ENERGY STAR certification. To obtain third-party certification, a builder or developer works with Earth Advantage, Inc to ensure that the highest standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource efficiency, water conservation and environmental responsibility are integrated into the construction of the home. Final performance testing and inspections are conducted by Earth Advantage, Inc. before a certificate of compliance is issued.

Home builders in the region are offering “green” or sustainable amenities as a way to compete in the housing market. Such features include efficient home furnaces and high performance heating and ventilation systems. Steve Tapio is the Building Science Team Leader for New Tradition Homes in Vancouver. His company began offering Earth Advantage certified homes in 2005. “All builders need to be in the running now,” Tapio reported. “The cost of energy is one of the largest concerns on the consumer’s mind. Sustainable features are also of interest in this market.”

“Green” built homes are designed with people in mind. They are more energy efficient reducing monthly utility costs, have healthier indoor in qualities that are better for occupants, and have more durable features and products that reduce time and money for upkeep. People are acknowledging these traits as not only core values to themselves, but are also beginning to understand how “green” built homes truly make sense, from an economic and environmental perspective.

Earth Advantage, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation is a leading green building authority in the Pacific Northwest and the largest third-party tested program in the country. At a minimum, Earth Advantage homes are designed to use 15 percent less energy than houses built to standard code practices. Earth Advantage works with builders, developers and home owners to bring the most energy efficient, sustainable and healthy homes to the market. The organization has the ability to certify homes as Earth Advantage (Silver, Gold and Platinum levels exist too), ENERGY STAR®, or LEED for Homes®. Over 9,500 homes in the state of Oregon have been certified to the Earth Advantage standard since 2000. For more information, visit www.earthadvantage.org.

24 Comments on ““Green” Certified Homes Sell for More in Portland Real Estate Market

  1. Great Blog!! Buyers in the Bend Oregon real estate market are keying in on “green” homes more and more. With the price of power going up it makes since to buy “green.”

  2. I’d gladly pay a bit
    more for a home that is properly built, call it green if you must but I just call it properly built

  3. Green certification for homes in the USA is a complete joke. Normal building code in europe is “greener” than these certifications.

    BTW, we reduced our electricity bill 50% only by installing LED lighting.

  4. it would be nice if we knew what ‘new’ homes sold for on the mls. might then be able to compare apples to apples. not trying to be hating, but the article reads like a pr fluff piece.

  5. Kevbo says: article reads like a pr fluff

    First line of the post: I’m not usually one for a cut and paste post but this one came to my email from Earth Advantage as a press release and has merit for a its own thread. Of course it is a puff piece.

    Squeezed, I think it doesn’t matter what you call it if it is making progress from the status quo.

  6. Bob=Wang

    Like everything else real estate related, you have to draw your own conclusions to what all the reports mean. Smart Money reported Portland as over priced for most of this decade. Maybe it was but a lot of people made a lot of money in the market. Now some are losing that money. It is how markets work.

    I think we all might be surprised with the numbers in the next month or two. From what we are experiencing, they will be healthier than the last few months. But that is just two Realtors in the area. I heard that three Realtors a day are leaving RMLS.

  7. Looking forward to seeing how much appreciation you are talking about once numbers are released.

  8. Why do we criticize oil companies for rejoicing over the high price of oil? Shouldn’t we be praising them for their savvy investment strategy?

    PS. The sustainability craze is just a marketing tool for a culture obsessed with appearing to care.

  9. “Why do we criticize oil companies for rejoicing over the high price of oil? Shouldn’t we be praising them for their savvy investment strategy?”

    What are you talking about? What have oil companies “invested” in? Please try to make sense when you post.

  10. With significantly less realtors getting a piece of the pie I wouldn’t be surprised to see business pick up for others. And as sellers realize the market is not so great and they price accordingly, houses will still sell. What has surprised me recently is the number of houses on the market, 20,930 in the Portland metro area VS 15,172 for Seattle! 20,930!OMG! With the foreclosure rate continuing to climb, many ARM’s resetting as we speak (and peaking in September, according to stats) the economy barely sputtering along, the stimulus checks going to the oil companies, what will surprise me? I can’t wait!

    BTW Tiffany, oil companies invest in wars, I mean the spread of democracy.

  11. The oil doesn’t just leap out of the ground into the barrels. Duh.

    The infrastructure, the engineering expertise, the drilling, the transport, the refining. What do you call that? It’s a lot more work than taking out a liar’s loan and flipping a house or simply living in it.

    We should laud the oil companies for their wise use of resources.

  12. Naysayer and Bearlee – Thank you for bringing rays of sunshine and gobs of hope to this board! Neither of you are very bright, but you do try hard.

  13. Here are some rays of sunshine and gobs of hope…my money in the bank and my ill-performing 401K are both outperforming the Portland housing market, significantly.

    And you aren’t able to secure an RE license to sell your flipping houses…let’s speak about lack of brightness here…

    but now I am bowing to your level…

  14. Lol – Actually, I’ve been doing quite well in this housing market, much much better than if I’d had my money in a 401K, contrary to my expectations. I suspect Charles is right when he says we’ll be surprised at the next RE numbers for Portland. At this rate, I don’t have to get a license, because I can afford to pay 6, even 7 percent. Oh well, there’s always Hillboro or Gresham for you, Bearlee, not that there’s anything wrong with those places.

  15. Tiffany love,

    There’s nothing particularly hopeful about faux caring. You’re pretty much focused exclusively on your own pocketbook (not that there’s anything wrong with that) so really, the only green you care deeply about is the currency kind.

    And keep pulling for those magic RE numbers to come out all 2005-ish. The child-like optimism is almost charming if not a little sad. And not very bright.

  16. What is wrong with Hillsboro and Gresham? I know many residents who hail from these places and they are fine people who contribute to the GDP just like everyone else.

  17. I’ve been doing quite well in this housing market, much much better than if I’d had my money in a 401K.

    I don’t have to get a license, because I can afford to pay 6, even 7 percent.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    We got ourselves a financial genius here!

  18. I was thinking the same dang thing. Wouldn’t you want to maximize your profits especially if this is your job, your source of income and not just a hobby?

    I am thinking of all the expenses. The loan fees for each flip, the property taxes, the interest on mortgage, the capital gains taxes since your aren’t selling a primary residence, all the time and money for materials, and then top it off with subtracting 6-7% from the sales price…any thing left to pocket?

  19. It’s not always beneficial to have a real estate license if you’re an investor. As a licensee, you have to work under a principal broker for three years before you can work independently. That costs money – you still have to pay a buyers agent on your personal transactions plus your (x amount per month) brokerage desk fees. Depending on the brokerage, you may have to give them a cut of your side of the commission as well. You can save once you go independent, but you still have fixed expenses (fees, dues for RMLS, PMAR, OAR, NAR, etc) and incredible liability and accountability – you may have to hire someone to help with your files, recordkeeping, accounting etc. It’s not as easy as it looks, which is why good Realtors work full time. It’s not a good hobby unless you’re independently wealthy and have lots of friends who like to buy and sell real estate.

  20. Where does a RE lawyer or FSBO fit into the picture? Or utilizing a service like “Assist 2 Sell”?

    How do professionals flippers/rehabbers keep their costs down since 6-7% off the top seems expensive?

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