Gen Z House Hunters Will Go Over Budget for Solar Powered Homes

Homes with environmentally friendly upgrades can go for 40% more than those without. Solar panels are some of the most sought after.

Image of a house made out of flowers

In a recent survey, 70% of Gen Zers said they'd break the bank to buy a house with sustainable features like solar panels.

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When Gen Zers are looking to buy a home, they're looking for a green one. About 70% of Gen Z house hunters say they'd pay more for a house with green upgrades with solar panels topping their wish list.

Members of Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials (between 1981 and 1996) are 27% more likely than Baby Boomers to buy a green home, according to a 2023 survey from Payless Power, which provides prepaid energy in Texas.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 respondents, sustainable-home shoppers are clamoring for energy-efficient appliances (with 54% of respondents calling them a top choice); solar panels or LEED/Energy Star certification (49%); LED lighting (46%); and energy-conserving insulation (46%).

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While demand for green features is increasing, in 2023 Payless Power CEO Brandon Young said most homes are priced using comparables that don't fully consider such improvements, "thus reducing the incentive to make the investments."

"I challenge the housing industry to rethink how homes are valued to give proper consideration to improvements that reduce energy consumption, dependency on fossil fuels and, ultimately, ongoing costs for power," Young said. 

Looking at more than 70,000 properties nationwide on the real-estate listing site Redfin, Payless Power found that residences tagged with a "green home" designation went for an average of $828,955, 41% more than the $589,227 brought in by comparable homes without the designation.

In some cities, eco-friendly features draw an even greater premium: In Detroit, green homes sold for an average of $321,989, or 180% more than traditional residences. Prospective buyers are also seeing green in Chicago, Philadelphia and Montgomery, Alabama.

Chart showing where green features add the most value
Payless Power

Article updated on March 23, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

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