IMT Report Finds Green Homes Sell for a Premium

Katie Weeks
New study examining Washington, D.C. real estate market shows homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for green or high-performance homes.

Homebuyers are not only increasingly interested in high-performance homes, or homes incorporating green features, but they are also willing to pay more for them, according to a new study released today by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).

What is Green Worth? Unveiling High-Performance Home Premiums in Washington, D.C.,” released by IMT and funded by the DOEE, finds that high-performance homes marketed with green features (such as a solar photovoltaic array or LEED certification) sell for a mean premium of 3.46 percent compared to homes without green features.

“With American households spending around $230 billion each year on energy, the real estate market is beginning to recognize the true value of high-performance homes. Not only do these homes mean lower monthly energy bills for homeowners, but our prior research has also found that homeowners of energy-efficient homes are 32 percent less likely to default on their mortgages,” said IMT Executive Director Cliff Majersik. “This study further emphasizes the value of high-performance homes and showcases that home sellers, realtors, and appraisers who are not factoring in energy efficiency when selling a home are leaving money on the table. This is important not just in the District of Columbia, but across the United States.”

In pairing high-performance home sales with multiple non-high-performance home sales, the study also identified current barriers in the real estate transaction process that may be preventing home sellers from receiving the full market value of their high-performance homes. While the study’s comparisons and conclusions clearly demonstrate that homebuyers are willing to pay more for high-performance homes, the multiple listing service, or MLS, does not adequately collect and showcase data on green features. In addition, the market is in need of real estate professionals with knowledge of green building principles and practices in order to better market high-performance homes.

“This study, one of the first of its kind, employed an appraiser-led technique to value green features in homes and it produced a credible set of quantifiable results” said Sandra Adomatis, SRA, LEED Green Associate, founder of Adomatis Appraisal Service and author of the report. “These findings are critical to support the growing movement to properly value high-performance homes.”

The full report is now available online at and

Katie Weeks
Director of Communications, Institute for Market Transformation