Solar Does Add to Home Values

solar panels

Photo-voltaic panels top this home in Frederick, Md.

Buyers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems, according to a recent study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in collaboration with several noted academic and appraisal research experts familiar with valuing PV properties.

Selling into the Sun,” unveiled during a session in the High Performance Building Zone during the recent NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, found that the typical installed PV energy system adds about $15,000 to the value of a home, with the impact varying by the size of the system and the type of home.

NAHB economists helped with the regression analysis for the study, which adds significantly to the body of knowledge about consumer preferences regarding sustainable features, particularly solar energy.

It will also help to ensure that appraisals of homes with photovoltaic energy systems accurately reflect the additional value that such systems provide, a change long advocated by NAHB.

The study analyzed almost 23,000 home sales in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania between 2002 and 2013. The analysis included 3,951 homes with photovoltaic systems; 1,444 were newly constructed.

All of the photovoltaic systems were owned by the home owners rather than leased, and none of the homes in the sample was priced at more than $900,000. The average sale price was $459,319. Read a detailed analysis of the study in NAHB’s Eye on Housing.

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