Third-party Certified Green Homes Outsell the Market

March 15, 2010

In a real estate market such as this, any edge helps. What if your home sold for 9.1% percent more than the competition? Why might a home do this you ask – because it is a third-party certified green home, such as a LEED home.

Real estate professionals have anecdotally reported for years that Green homes sell faster and for more money than traditional homes. Now there is additional hard market data to support this, from an area that has had a Green MLS for quite a few years: Seattle.   And the data is recent – up to January 2010.

Here’s the full article and report:

Similar to the ability northern Illinois agents now have, real estate agents in Seattle can note whether a home has certifications from Built Green, Energy Star, LEED for Homes or other third-party verification. Agents can also download the certification as an attached document to the real estate listing.

As a result, analysts have been able to chart trends of Environmentally-certified (“e-certified”) homes. There is a great accompanying graph showing trends in the Seattle area. It reveals that:

“certified green homes made up 33 percent of the new home market, sold for a 9.1 percent premium per square foot and were on the market for 24 percent less time. Further, from November 2009 through January 2010, King County non-certified homes continued to decrease in value as certified home values increased.”

Price trend data in Seattle, WAMost interesting from a valuation perspective from this article is the following:

“It was eye-opening for appraisers to hear that in July 2009, two years of steady growth in market share of green homes culminated in over 49 percent of new homes sold that month with a certification. Over 50 percent, and appraisers will be required to discount any home that is not green, as that will have become the [new] market norm.”

So why are people (aka. the Market) paying for third-party certification of their homes? The reasons vary among items such as the improved comfort and energy efficiency, the health of the home, and the durability and lower maintenance.

Granted, this data is from the Pacific Northwest market, not from Chicagoland. However, since Northern Illinois recently implemented a green MLS, this could be a picture of future trends a year or two down the road, once some market transactions start occurring.

These are exciting times for Illinois green building and LEED homes! For the full report, please visit:

Categories: Green Building

About The Author

Read All Stories By Jason

Jason La Fleur is the Chair of the USGBC Illinois chapter's Residential Green Building Committee, and is a Project Manager for the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability. He is a member of the national US Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Committee, and assisted with creating the education standards for LEED AP continuing education. Jason is also the chair of the Education Committee for the Illinois Solar Energy Association, and an instructor for the organization. For six years, he developed courses for real estate appraisers and led the Appraisal Institute's Green Building Project Team, working with sustainability-minded real estate professionals. Additionally, he is actively involved in residential green building and the LEED for Homes program in the Chicago region. Jason holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois, and has over ten years of project management and curriculum development experience. Further dedication to sustainability is demonstrated in his LEED Accredited Professional designation.

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