Do Portland Home Buyers Look at Home Energy Scores?

home energy score portland buyers

Portland’s Home Energy Score policy, requiring all homes that go on the Portland market to receive a score before they are listed, is still very new. For that reason, it’s hard to get an exact picture of how these scores are impacting buyer behavior.

However, we do know that environmentally friendly features are important to home buyers, thanks to research performed by the National Association of Realtors. Their most recent Annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers contains some revealing statistics.

  • Overall, in 2017, most buyers reported that when shopping for a home, environmentally friendly features were at least somewhat important to them.
  • The most important environmental feature to buyers in all regions was heating and cooling costs, which 85 percent of buyers found at least somewhat important in their home buying decision. 34 percent said it is a “very important” factor in their home-buying decision.
  • As the home’s age increases, buyers place less importance on environmentally friendly features compared to buyers of newer homes.
  • Of buyers who purchased a new home (as in newly constructed) in 2017, 12 percent reported choosing the home because of its green/energy efficient features.
  • If a Home Energy Score exists, buyers are definitely going to see it. That’s because 95 percent of home buyers look online for information about a home when home buying. Portland’s Home Energy Score regulations require the Score to be included in the listing description in nearly every residential home sale, which means that as soon as a buyer goes online, there it is.

To get a better idea of what motivates home buyers to look for a home with a higher Home Energy Score (a more efficient home), we turn to Pew Research Center. In a 2016 survey, they found that 75 percent of Americans are concerned about helping the environment.

That’s a pretty general statement, and so to get a clearer picture, Pew asked respondents whether they make an effort to live in ways that help protect the environment “all the time.” To that, one in five said yes. Among those one-in-five who make efforts to protect the environment all the time, there are some surprising contrasts between the generations.

  • 36 percent are age 65 and older
  • Only 12 percent are between ages 18 to 29
  • And, in a 2014 survey, Pew found that millennials (currently 18 to 36 years old) are also somewhat less likely than older generations to view themselves as environmentalists.

From this data, it would seem that a Portland Home Energy Score Report might mean more to a home buyer over the age of 65, than it would to a millennial home buyer. So what age groups are buying homes in Portland?

While specific data for Portland is not available regarding the age of home buyers, it does seem that the majority of migration to Portland is done by those ages 25-39. That’s according to a recent study by Portland State University, which found that those aged 65 and older were the next-biggest population group to move to Portland.

Some of those migrants may be renting, while others will actually buy a home. Returning to the National Association of Realtors research, which tracks the age of home buyers by region, we find that millennials make up slightly more than 25 percent of home buyers in the West. The majority of home buyers are between 35 and 64 (nearly 60 percent) while 17 percent are 65 and over.

So, does the Home Energy Score matter to home buyers in Portland? Yes it does, keep in mind 75% of American’s surveyed were concerned about the environment and 85% of home buyers surveyed by NAR said cost saving green features mattered to them. Do you still have to get a Home Energy Score Report in Portland if you’re listing your home for sale? That’s still a YES (see our home page for info. on exemptions). Book a home energy score appointment online today!