Solar home sales: location and premium price


The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that homeowners spend $25,000 installing residential solar systems, so it makes sense that more buyers are looking to purchase properties with solar panels already retrofitted. However, according to findings published in MarketWatch, even these homes can come at a premium.

To find out which regions of the U.S. have the highest number of solar-powered homes for sale per 100,000 people and how much prospective buyers are paying for solar-powered residences across the country, MarketWatch searched Zillow. Using the keyword “solar,” they assessed how many relevant home listings popped up in specific states and cities relative to the local population.

MarketWatch used each listing’s page views and price details to calculate the average interest in the property and determine how much more a buyer needs to pay for a solar-powered home:  

  • In terms of cities, Las Vegas had the highest number of solar-powered homes for sale in the U.S. (287), while Goodyear, Ariz., had the highest number of solar-powered homes for sale per 100,000 people (58).
  • Regarding states, California and Florida had the most solar-powered homes on the market at 6,014 residences and 2,852 residences, respectively. Hawaii and Nevada had the highest number of homes for sale per 100,000 people at 23 and 20 residences, respectively. 
  • Regarding interest in purchasing a solar home, New Hampshire was the state with the highest number of views of solar home per day at 1,799. Irvine, Calif., attracted the highest number of views per day at 2,188. 
  • For price, buyers of solar-powered homes in Kansas paid the highest premium in the country, at 91.15%. On the low end, buyers in California had a premium of 4.13%

MarketWatch attributes the high number of solar homes on the market in Las Vegas to the rapid growth rate of solar-powered developments in that area. Goodyear, Ariz., ranked high due to receiving 300 days of sunshine, making it ideal for solar, MarketWatch reports.

California had the highest number of solar-powered homes for sale at 6,014 listings, which MarketWatch also attributes to its regular exposure to the sun. Hawaii boasted the highest number of solar-powered homes on the market relative to the people at 23 listings per 100,000. The report authors state this is because its electricity costs are the highest in the nation.

The top nine U.S. cities that had the most interest in purchasing a solar-powered home were in California. These include properties in Irvine, Calif., which had 2,188 views per day, followed by Corona Calif., at 2,160 views and San Diego, Calif., at 2,151 views. MarketWatch states this is partly because of the rising costs of utilities in fast-growing cities. 

According to the study, buyers in Arkansas had the highest premium (91.5%) when purchasing a solar-powered home. Buyers in California pay an average 4.13% price premium on their solar-powered home, the lowest in the country. 

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