For the last few years, amenities have been big news in the luxury real estate business. Features like the gourmet kitchen, infinity pool and grotto or personal gym have all made lists for being the most sought after luxury amenities. Lately, solar panels are just one more home feature that is making news for reasons other than being luxurious, they are adding tremendous value to homes when it comes time to sell in addition to saving home owners in month-to-month energy costs.
New research by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California is finding that homes equipped with photovoltaic (PV) systems, are selling for a higher premium than those without. The study, headed up by lead researcher Ben Hoen, examined 1,598 PV homes and 6,140 non-PV homes throughout California from 2000 to 2009. The research reported that homes with PV systems sell for an average $24,705 more for a typical 3.1-kilowatt system than homes without PV systems.
Analysts for Lawrence Berkeley took into consideration three factors for the study to adjust for size of homes relative to energy efficiency and the changing costs of California homes over a nine-year period in an effort to show how much of a factor solar panels can be in homes and that they should be a factor in appraisals. Currently, home appraisers do not assign any additional value to solar PV systems installed on homes in California while the LBNL study reported that for every 1-kilowatt increase in rooftop solar system size, the home’s resale value can increase approximately $5,911.
“Our analysis offers clear support that a premium exists in the marketplace, thus PV systems have value and their contribution to home values must be assessed,” the report states.
PV Systems Bring Other Benefits to Southern California Home Owners
Photovoltaic systems use solar panels made of semiconductor materials attached to the roof or other exposed surfaces to convert sunlight directly into electricity. These systems can get quite expensive, a 6.1-kilowatt system spanning 350 square feet costs about $28,000, but it can offer daily pay offs for the home owner.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a Connecticut home owner, Etta Kantor, who recently listed her $4.5 million home that is equipped with 10.8-kilowatt photovoltaic panels. Being powered by solar energy, this luxury home, pool and electric car has a bill averaging less than $100 a month.
Despite the prevalence of the technology for many years, home owners are only just now beginning to embrace PV systems as a means to power their homes. According to Hoen and associates, roughly 32 percent of total PV systems in the U.S. were added in 2013 alone with the most popular areas for solar power being in California, Hawaii and Arizona according to the solar energy association.
Southern California is an exciting environment for home owners. If you are looking for a luxury property, please don’t hesitate to give our team of real estate agents a call. We’d love to help you find the home of your dreams.
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(all data current as of 10/22/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.