Portland homes seek green labels
By Wendy Culverwell, Business Journal Staff Writer
Business Journal Staff Writer
Ann Griffin, Earth Advantage Institute's sustainable community program manager
Green homes, little more than a novelty just a decade ago, now account for nearly one in every four new homes sold in the Portland area.
In the year that ended April 30, 403 homes, or 23 percent of all new residences, were certified by the Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute or one of its rivals, according to figures based on data compiled by the Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The Earth Advantage certification is the most popular in the Portland area, but is just one of several certification programs for single-family residences.
RMLS started tracking green homes in 2007 and found that green homes began accounting for a higher percentage of home sales. Builders expect green will continue to gain market share as buyers seek homes that cost less to heat and cool and are constructed with more durable material.
Locally, Earth Advantage certification dominates the Portland market.
Green homes don’t just command an increasing share of the marketplace. They also command prices that are on average 18 percent higher than their uncertified counterparts, according to the RMLS figures. The average green home sells for about $332,500.
Home builders and residential brokers say customers are driving builders to adopt green standards. A growing availability of greener building products makes it easier and increasingly affordable.
"It’s coming from a place of demand. Buyers are demanding it," said Hilary Bourassa, a broker with Oregon First who holds the Earth Advantage Institute’s designation for brokers.
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