Eco-friendly homes are growing in demand, but buyers don’t always have to expect to pay a premium. Realtor.com® researched the 200 biggest metros in the U.S. to find the market availability of green homes with eco-friendly features, such as solar panels, smart thermostats, bamboo floors, and more. Researchers also sought to determine how much more or less these homes cost prospective buyers.
“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,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com®’s director of economic research. “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.”
Buyers don’t always have to pay more for eco-friendly features. In Salina, Calif., green listings are 14 percent below the median home price. Also, buyers in Prescott, Ariz., and Fresno, Calif., who want integrated solar panels in their new home will pay the same or less than the median home price in each market.
However, homes with programmable thermostats do tend to cost more, adding up to 20 percent in Montgomery, Ala.; 17 percent in Tulsa, Okla.; 15 percent in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, metro area; and 12 percent in the Oklahoma City metro area.
Energy Star–rated homes likely will cost more too. Most buyers will likely pay 21 to 26 percent more than the median home per square foot.