Research shows solar panels make homes easier to sell

Buyers find homes with solar panels more attractive, according to a graduation research project by Master’s student Thomas Wissink. Many people are even prepared to pay an extra amount for solar panels which is comparable to the purchase price of the system. This is an interesting finding for home owners who aren’t sure about whether to make the investment in solar panels.

The numbers of solar panels are increasing rapidly. More than 60% of them are on the roofs of homes occupied by the owners. Thomas Wissink, a Master’s student in the Built Environment department at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), asked 227 people in the Eindhoven region if they found solar panels to be a positive factor in their choice for a potential new house. He found that solar panels did indeed make a house more attractive, and potential buyers were therefore more likely to choose such a house.

Out of the respondents, 78% were prepared to pay more for a house with solar panels. Based on a system producing savings of 600 euros a year, the average extra price that potential buyers were prepared to pay was 7,000 euros – comparable to the purchase price of such a system.
“These findings are interesting for home owners who want to invest in solar panels, but aren’t sure if they might move house before they’ve recovered their investment”, says Thomas Wissink. “In fact, solar panels have such a positive effect on a potential buyer’s choice that a system could even prove to be a good investment for homes that are already for sale.”

And: “There are two things going on in the Netherlands right now. We seem to be too slow in shifting towards sustainable energy. And our houses don’t sell as well anymore. Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to fit about one hundred of those houses with solar panels funded by the government? Maybe they’d sell then.”

Wissink delivered his graduation lecture on July 10. He’s currently working on his Master’s thesis at the University of Amsterdam – also about solar panels. For the Business Economics program, he’s studying why people tend to purchase solar panels when the financial climate is bad rather than good. Is it idealism, or don’t they see any better investment opportunities for their savings? Wissink expects to finish his thesis in October.

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