I'd love to get a regional breakdown of this! Because I don't believe that this is true, at least in the Triangle. Let me know what you think!
In an unscientific, voluntary national poll, appraisers were asked if they had appraised "high-performance" homes, and if so, whether they felt that those homes carried a premium value in their market.
First, over 50% had never appraised one and 10% had no idea what a high-performance home was (that's "green/EnergyStar" for neophytes). Given the emergence of green in the Triangle (nearing 20% of new construction according to MLS), I'm not sure that reflects our local appraiser population; however, there are probably a significant number who have not encountered such homes.
Secondly, of the approximately 40% who had performed these appraisals, 30% (or three-quarters of this group) did not believe a high-performance home carried a market premium, despite the significant and demonstrated operating costs from energy savings and reduced maintenance. I find this disturbing, because I believe it reflects an obsolete view of valuation criteria.
It appears that, since no requirements have been defined for valuing these new construction methods, most appraisers are ignoring some very material factors. We certainly do need guidance in this area, but we can justify some basic approaches to valuation, such as capitalizing the projected savings.
I believe it is time for appraisers to step up to this challenge and recognize the true value of high-performance homes. The value is real, not cosmetic fluff, and should be considered in the appraisal. Buyers (and their lenders) should insist on the use of appraisers experienced with high-performance homes and/or suitable analytic methods so that their mortgages are not jeopardized by inadequate valuations.