A new report published today by the Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute documents home sales prices at a 3 to 10 percent premium for Certified Green Homes in the Portland and Seattle Metro areas. These same homes are selling faster than the average like home as well.

These impressive sales statistics are at a time when home prices nationwide have seen substantial deflation.

The information provided in this report should be of special interest for any green business owner or prospective green business owner in the real estate, remodeling, or green contracting sectors. The USGBC has been reporting higher green building values and good return on investment for green building certifications for some time. These numbers are remarkable because the report provides current data regarding current
housing market trends
and are of use when evaluating future projects and business ventures.

Here is a reprint of the Earth Advantage press release:


PORTLAND, Ore. June 10,
— Earth Advantage Institute released a report today
that documents the superior market performance of third-party certified
homes over noncertified homes.

The findings are based on an analysis that directly compares homes that
were certified with appraiser-approved comparable homes. Home
certifications included Earth Advantage®, ENERGY STAR®, Built Green®,
and LEED® for Homes. Certified homes in the four-county Seattle
metropolitan area sold for 9.7 percent more than noncertified homes.

In the five-county Portland area, homes also achieved a price premium
of 3 to 5 percent more. Homes with an Earth Advantage or comparable
certification also sold more quickly in the Portland metro area by
about 18 days.

“This investigative research demonstrates the clear value of certified
homes to homeowners and professionals in the home construction and
sales industry,” said Sean Penrith, executive director of Earth
Advantage Institute. “The results of this study will help us in our
certification outreach efforts by supplying our constituents with
specific data on the value of sustainable home standards.”

The report, Certified Home Performance: Assessing the Market Impacts of
Third-Party Certification on Residential Properties, also features home
builder interviews and consumer surveys.

Certified Homes Sample

The comparable property analysis was based on a sample of 92 certified
homes in Portland and 68 certified homes in Seattle. For each certified
home, 2 to 7 comparable homes were identified. Taylor Watkins of
Watkins & Associates was the project appraiser. The comparable
home methodology allowed researchers to identify sustainable
certification as the primary factor impacting market performance.

The majority of the homes in the Oregon sample (90 percent) were built
between 2005 and 2008, and sold for an average of $474,000. All of the
homes in the Washington sample were built in 2007 or 2008, and sold for
an average of $523,000.

Green Building Leaders’ Efforts

This investigative study is part of a larger regional effort conducted
by nonprofit and local government organizations. These efforts have
involved some of the leading green building organizations in the
Pacific Northwest, including Built Green Washington, Cascadia Region
Green Building Council, Earth Advantage Institute, Master Builders
Association of King and Snohomish Counties, Master Builders Association
of Pierce County, the Northwest Eco-Building Guild, Olympia Master
Builders, and Washington State Department of Ecology.

In the coming weeks, the report will be followed by the release of
related research reports, including a commercial case study report to
be published by Cascadia Region Green Building Council and a
residential case study report to be published by the Northwest
Eco-Building Guild. The commercial case study report is available on
the Cascadia Regional Green Building Web site www.cascadiagbc.org,
and the residential report will be available on the Built Green
Washington site www.builtgreenwashington.org.

About Earth Advantage Institute

Earth Advantage Institute works with homeowners, homebuyers, builders,
and developers to bring the most energy efficient, sustainable, and
healthy homes to the market. The organization is an independent,
nonprofit resource group that certifies homes and communities based on
conformance to ENERGY STAR®, Earth Advantage®, or LEED® for Homes standards. Earth Advantage Institute also offers education classes and has a showroom at its national center in Portland, Oregon. Earth
Advantage Institute has certified more than 11,000 new homes.

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About The Author

Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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