Could energy efficiency bring new residents to the Bay State?

Homebuyers looking for incentives to invest in real estate in Boston might be encouraged by recent reports that the housing market is improving nationwide. Sales of new single-family houses in September 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The latest September 2012 sales figure is 4.7 percent higher than the revised August 2012 rate of 368,000 and is 27.1 percent above the September 2011 rate of 306,000 units. What's more, the new residential sales report estimates the median price of new houses sold in September 2012 was $242,400 - the average sales price was $292,400. At the end of September, a housing supply of 4.5 months remained on the market.

Overall, U.S. house prices rose 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from July 2012 to August 2012, a new Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly House Price Index (HPI) reports. The previously recorded 0.2 percent increase in July was revised to a 0.1 percent increase, but improvements made in September could help strengthen the national economy even further.

According to the HPI, for the 12 months ending in August 2012, U.S. prices rose 4.7 percent, which is still 15.9 percent below the April 2007 peak, but continues to show signs of regular improvement.

In Massachusetts, stronger housing markets will only increase competition for in demand properties, and with the state's latest national recognition as the most energy-efficient state, more people may look to purchase houses for sale in Boston.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its 2012 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which awarded the Bay State top prize for the second year in a row. The scorecard benchmarks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on policies and programs that encourage energy efficiency in various economic sectors. Officials examine building energy codes and look at utility and public benefit programs, transportation policies, combined heat and power guidelines, state government-led initiatives and appliance and equipment standards.

Looking for an energy-efficient home in today's strengthening housing market? Make sure you take a peek at Boston real estate to take advantage of everything the Hub has to offer to its residents.