Orange County home values gain boost from green technology

More Americans than ever are looking for properties that include green features. People are interested in decreasing the operational expenses and the carbon footprint associated with running a house. Real estate in Orange County offers many potential homebuyers the opportunity to locate and purchase a property that has been outfitted with the latest green technology.

The Orange County Register reports that a recent survey from the University of California found that green-certified properties sell for approximately 9 percent more than comparably featured but less eco-friendly homes.

About 1.6 million homes were sold in California between 2007 and 2012, according to the news source. In contrast, only 4,231 properties that earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council were sold during the same time period. In a sample of about 117,000 conventional homes and 723 green-certified homes in Orange County, the survey found that a $10,000 investment in sustainable technology for green certification could raise the sales price of a property by an average of $34,800.

"These are kind of ballpark numbers," study co-author Nils Kok, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley who teaches finance and real estate in Holland, told the news source. "[But] no matter how you twist and turn it, benefits [of green investments] outweigh costs."

The average uptick for green-outfitted properties was greatest in regions with hotter climates, where air conditioning runs consistently throughout the year. The Orange County Register reports that this report came on the heels of two others that claimed that claimed that homebuyers would be willing to spend at least $5,000 more on a green property in California.

According to McGraw-Hill Construction, the share of green single-family home construction has doubled from 2008 to 2011, rising from 8 percent to 17 percent. Consequently, by 2011 the green home market industry made $17 billion in profits. Housing experts are predicting a five-fold increase between 2011 and 2016, bringing the market share from 29 percent to 38 percent. If this is accurate, the green market could bring in about $87 to 114 billion in profits.

Green features that many homebuyers are looking for include triple-pane windows with high insulation R-values, energy-efficient heating, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and greater quality insulation. Check out the MLS listings in Orange County to find a property outfitted with sustainable technology.