Do Silicon Valley houses with solar panels sell faster and for more money?

Solar and resale valueA question posed to me recently was whether or not houses with solar panels sell faster and for more money.  We would tend to think so, because solar panels make paying for electricity considerably less expensive, especially here in sunny Silicon Valley.  Conversations with buyers reveal that solar is highly valued.  Placing a dollar amount to that value isn’t so easy right now, however.

The difficulty is in the lack of data.  Recently, in my Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood, we’ve seen a lot of houses getting fitted with solar just in the last year.  I believe that 3-4 years from now, we’ll have a larger pool of closed sales in which solar was part of the equation, but at the moment, only a tiny fraction of closed escrows were houses with these energy efficient features.

Here’s what I’m seeing as I pull the numbers from our MLS:

All of Santa Clara County, all houses which have closed escrow in the last 30 days: 916

All of SCC, all houses with solar panels on the grid which have closed escrow in the last 30 days: 13

This is a mere 1.4% of the sold properties in the last month.   (more…)