Archive for the ‘Green Building’ Category

Study shows energy efficient home owners less likely to default on mortgage

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

A study was released today by the University of North Carolina and the Institute for Market Transformation that finally assesses the linkages between residential energy efficiency and mortgage risks.  The study Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks Report found that the risk of mortgage default by home ownes is one-third lower for ENERGY STAR labeled homes (typically a minimum 15% improvement in performance over a code built home of the same year).  With HERS Index Scores even lower than 85 the risk level further decreased.

Researchers used a sample of 71,000 mortgage loans, originated during 2002-2012, from 38 states and the District of Columbia, all derived from CoreLogic’s mortgage data base.  To get statistically pure results they controlled for house size; age of the house; neighborhood income levels; house values relative to the area median; local unemployment rates; borrowers’ credit scores; loan-to-value ratios; electricity costs; and even local weather conditions.

And in case you are wondering, the average sale price of both the energy-efficient homes and the others was approximately $220,000, removing the possibility that the energy-efficient properties were high-end houses purchased by the 1%.

Introducing the Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and SEEC LLC recently launched version 2 of its Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes V2 (see attached Press Release). The addendum was created in response to appraisers’ requests for credible incremental cost data for homes in their markets that incorporate high performance measures, now includes under version 2 energy and water savings estimations.

SEEC introduced the addendum to the residential green and high performance homes community in the first of a series of webinars slated for this year.  The webinars are a MUST for any green/high performance builder wishing to have their homes accurately appraised.   Click this link to listen to a recording of the first webinar.  While COST does not necessarily equal VALUE, participants learned from industry experts (appraising, water and energy conservation) how completing the addendum will assist appraisers in the following areas:

a.            Cost data info allows appraisers to source appropriate comparables (particularly important in the absence of/limited green fields/or no direct comps)

b.            Cost data info could be used to test the reasonableness of adjustments made under another method

c.            Cost data info could be used by the appraiser to determine the rate of physical depreciation

d.            A HERS or EPS energy score provides the appraiser with documentation to prove a home’s energy efficiency

e.             Water and energy savings estimations could be used to calculate an overall adjustment for the savings identified

Nation’s Largest Publicly Traded Builders Adopting Green led by Energy Efficiency

Monday, April 4th, 2011

What are some of the indicators that real estate professionals and appraisers use to gauge the average buyer’s sentiment to green and energy efficiency?  When green and energy efficient building practices are adopted by the nation’s big-builders.

According to a survey “A Green Recovery for America’s Homebuilders?” released December 2010 by Calvert Investments, builders who embrace green-construction objectives, such as energy efficiency and water conservation, will have a leg up as the housing market tries to find its footing.
The survey focused on the 10 largest publicly traded homebuilders and the degree to which they’ve integrated sustainability into their practices and products, and follows-up a similar Calvert survey conducted two years ago. The 2010 survey covers five principal areas: land, building materials, energy, water, and climate change.

The green initiatives that builders, led by KB Home and Pulte, tend to pursue most vigorously are driven by their potential to reduce operating costs and their financial benefit to customers.  The survey report noted that companies are most active “in programs that will increase the energy efficiency of the homes they build.  That finding is in line with a J.D. Power survey, cited by Meritage Homes on its website and noted in the Calvert report, that, among homeowners who have purchased a “green” home, 94% reported they purchased the home because of the savings they would see on energy bills” (taken directly from the Fine Homebuilding Blog by Richard Defendorf).

Residential Green Valuation Roundtable Series – a First!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Created by SEEC and sponsored by Northwest ENERGY STAR ® Homes, a program to deliver ten green valuation roundtables in major cities across WA, ID, MT and OR kicked off March 25th with the first roundtable being held in Olympia, hosted by local partners the Thurston Climate Action Team and Evergreen College.  The second in the series is being held in Bellevue this Thursday, March 31st hosted by local partner Built Green® King Snohomish.

Here’s some feedback:

Nice job today. I walked away with some good stuff and some new insight” – Cory Eckert, Laupen Homes

and a News Flash issued by TCAT TCAT Valuation Roundtable News Flash

New Survey Indicates Green Features as a Priority

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

A recent survey of homebuyers registered on revealed that 55 percent of survey respondents rated a home’s green features a “somewhat important” or “very important” part of their home hunt.

Other highlights from the survey include:
•Homebuyers who view green features as a priority ranked them important because they helped save money (49 percent), as well as allowed them to do their part to help the environment (40 percent).
•Other reasons homebuyers valued green features included occupant/family health (37 percent), tax credit availability (12 percent) and the home’s resale value (15 percent).
•Although homebuyers overwhelmingly rated energy efficiency the most important green feature in a home (89 percent), an additional survey conducted by the brokerage of MLS-listed homes across the 35 markets nationwide ZipRealty serves found that less than one percent of homes on the market included the term in their description of the home.

See Aug 18th BuildingOnline news service for full story.