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US Studies suggest eco friendly property sells faster and for more than conventional buildings

They are selling faster and for higher prices per square foot with the most eco friendly obtaining prices that are 25% higher, according to research from Seattle based Green Works Realty.
Its report shows that environmentally certified new homes in King County sold between November 2009 and February 2010 sold for $71 more per square foot in 7% less time and made up 26% of the market.
Environmentally certified new homes in Seattle in the same period sold for 9.2% more per
square foot in 24% less time and made up 34% of the market. While third party verified new homes with an environmental certification in the City of Seattle sold for 22% more per square foot in 12% less time and made up 6% of the market.
The homes that underwent the strictest certification, being tested by third parties, and thus likely to be the greenest, did even better. They commanded prices 25% higher than regular homes, says the report.
The trend is not confined to the north west of the US. In the Portland, Oregon, metro area, green certified homes sold for 12% more, an average of $408,915, than non certified homes between May 2008 and April 2009, according to research from the Earth Advantage Institute.
Its analysis, based on data from the Regional Multiple Listing Service, also saw a premium per square foot, as eco homes got $193 compared with $173 for other homes.
‘The reasons why buyers favour e-certified homes are not rocket science, but people have different motivations,’ said Ben Kaufman, owner of GreenWorks Realty.
As well as wanting lower utility bills, some buyers see it as a commitment to reducing climate change with the higher energy efficiency that green homes offer. Others buy because the homes are built with nontoxic materials, which makes the indoor air quality cleaner than their traditional counterparts,’ he explained.
National data is not available because most multiple listing services do not have special categories for green rated homes that make them easy to track but these reports indicate a trend in the locations they cover.
In the Seattle analysis, the 973 green-rated homes that sold made up 33% of the total market. In the Portland metro area study, 674 such homes sold, representing 16% of all sales.
In both studies, the homes are considered green if they receive certification from the government’s Energy Star or the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) programme. The Seattle study also includes those rated by Built Green and the Portland one, those by Earth Advantage Homes.