California homes that meet environmental standards, such as energy efficiency and proximity to public transportation, are selling at higher prices than homes that don't, according to a new report.
The study, conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA, looked at homes that were labeled green by LEED, GreenPoint Rated and Energy Star – rating systems that give green label certifications to homes. To be certified, each rating system has a list of criteria homes must meet, including well-insulated ceilings and walls and energy-efficient lighting.
"This is the first systematic evidence of the financial value of green label homes as measured in the marketplace," said one of the study’s researchers, Nils Kok, a visiting professor at UC Berkeley. "Green labels seem to inform and influence the opinions of consumers."
A green label increased the selling price of a single-family home by an average of 9 percent compared with nongreen label homes. Researchers controlled the data for the age, location and size of the home so that all homes were comparable. They studied data from 1.6 million homes sold in the state in the past five years.
Based on the average California home price of $400,000, a green label increased the value of a home by an average of $34,800.
Consumers value green label homes because of the increasing cost of keeping a home cool, the report said.