- Eco-friendly features can increase your home value by 41%, on average.
- The most expensive cities for green homes are San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Boston.
- The most affordable cities for green homes are Detroit, Yukon, and El Paso.
- Millennials and Gen Zers are 27% more likely than baby boomers to buy a green home.
Buying, Selling, and Saving
With the housing market starting to cool off (for now, at least), people have begun to shop again. And today, many are doing it with environmental sustainability in mind. So, to lay out some reasons you might want to make eco-friendly upgrades to your own place, we studied over 70,000 current Redfin homes listed as “green” to see how this designation impacts property values in different parts of the U.S. Redfin defines green homes as “homes with LEED/Energy Star certification, solar panels, or other green features and appliances.”
We also asked over 1,000 people how important green home features are to them, which they want most, and how much more they’re willing to pay for them when buying a new home. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, or simply to reduce your current energy bill, our findings will help you choose the smartest ways to green your space.
The Value of Green Homes
Green homes can cost a pretty penny. But just how much of a difference do sustainability-focused features make in a home’s value, and how does it vary nationwide?
We found that a green home can go for 41% more on average than a non-green home. But making any living space more eco-friendly can also add value, especially in Detroit, Michigan. In this city, green homes have an average 180% higher value than others. But on the bright side, cities with lower values for homes with eco-friendly features might mean you can find one for a lower price than that of a traditional home.
Green Home Prices
Now we know how much value sustainability can add to a home in some places. But how much do green homes typically go for in the U.S., and where are you most likely to find one?
Our research revealed Atlanta, Georgia, as the city with the most green homes for sale. At the time of this study, a massive portion of Atlanta’s total number of homes on the market were green: 87%. But with an average price tag of around $588,600, they were far from the most expensive. That title was awarded to:
- San Francisco, CA (nearly $2.5 million, on average)
- Scottsdale, AZ (nearly $2.2 million)
- Boston, MA (over $1.6 million)
San Francisco’s top rank here came as no surprise — it’s among the 10 most expensive places in the world. If those prices spike your blood pressure, take a look at these cities where green homes were the most affordable:
- Detroit, MI (under $322,000)
- Yukon, OK (just over $340,000)
- El Paso, TX (just over $362,000)
These areas may offer cheaper access to the benefits of a green home, such as durable materials, energy savings, and improved air quality. Perks like these make it easy to see why green homes are so in-demand.
Green Is the New Black
Let’s see how hot green homes are these days. How many people want one, and how much extra are they willing to shell out for their most-desired sustainable features?
Many of our respondents would prefer to have at least some green features in their home. The ones they reported wanting most were:
- Energy-efficient appliances (54%)
- LEED/Energy Star certification or solar panels (49%)
- LED lighting (46%)
- Energy-conserving insulation (46%)
- Smart energy-monitoring technology (33%)
If you’re shopping for a home with components like these, you may be competing mostly with younger homebuyers. The millennials and Gen Zers we surveyed were 27% more likely than baby boomers to buy a green home. And when you find the home you love, you’ll want to act quickly; green homes can sell up to 10 days faster than traditional homes.
Why Go Green?
There are many reasons to consider an eco-friendly living space, especially if you’re a homeowner or looking to buy. Adding environmentally sustainable features can earn you a higher selling price than what you paid for your current home. But even in cities where that’s not the case, you’re likely to find a new green home for about the same price as a traditional home — maybe even less.
No matter where you live in the U.S., green home features are more than just attractive selling points; they can also reduce your energy costs. The top most wanted green home features were also ones that monitor or reduce energy consumption. So, whether you’re buying, selling, or just trying to cut costs, a green home is the way to go.
We scraped Redfin to gather property value data on 70,637 homes in major U.S. cities. We looked at homes under the green home filter on Redfin to explore how adding eco-friendly features impact property value. Data was scraped in February 2023. Redfin defines green homes as “homes with LEED/Energy Star certification, solar panels, or other green features and appliances.” Only cities with at least 100 homes listed (50 green and 50 non-green) were considered for analysis.
We also conducted a survey of 1,018 respondents; 19% were Gen Z, 33% were millennials, 26% were Gen X, and 22% were baby boomers.
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Fair Use Statement
Want to share these sustainability tips with someone looking to buy or sell a home? Please feel free to do so for any non-commercial purpose. All we ask is that you include a link to this research when you do.