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Central Air Conditioning Commands $5,500 Premium

Buyers are more likely to say air conditioning is essential in their new home than outdoor features like a patio or deck

SEATTLE, July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Buyers are willing to spend more for the comforts of a cooler home. A new Zillow® analysisi finds that homes with air conditioning sold for 2.5 percent more than homes without it, which is a premium of nearly $5,500 for the typical U.S. home.

The premium for air conditioning is highest in San Antonio, where homes with air conditioning sold for a 5.8 percent premium. Cincinnati is close behind, with a 5.7 percent premium for homes with air conditioning. Homes with air conditioning also sold for a five percent premium in Detroit, Indianapolis and Las Vegas.

Buyers put a higher value on air conditioning than outdoor home features like a patio or deck. Air conditioning was listed as a required feature by 62 percent of buyers, while a private outdoor space was deemed essential by 48 percent of buyers, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Reportii.

Unusually hot summer days have become more common over the past few decades, according to the Environmental Protection Agencyiii, which may help explain why air conditioning is becoming more of a necessity in many markets. Across the country, 66.1 percent of homes that sold in the past year have air conditioning. In markets with some of the hottest climates, air conditioning was in nearly every single home that sold in the past year. It was in 99.1 percent of homes sold in Las Vegas, and 97.9 percent of homes sold in Phoenix.

"With summer temperatures hitting record highs across the country, today's home buyer places a premium on the once-upon-a-time luxury amenity of air conditioning," said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. "Individual design preferences or decorating styles might deter buyers from certain homes, but there is a strong consensus in favor of air conditioning, although in the nation's fastest-moving markets, AC may weigh relatively low for buyers eager to find any home they can. In historically more temperate climates, some homes – especially older ones – aren't as likely to have air conditioning. But in places where temperatures regularly reach triple digits, it's hard to find a home without air conditioning."

Renters put a slightly higher premium on air conditioning. The typical U.S. rental on Zillow in the last year with central air conditioning rented for 2.8 percent more than rentals in the same market that don't have air conditioning, or about $40 per month.

This may be because renters are more limited than homeowners when it comes to adding air conditioning. They likely can't install a central air or HVAC system for example, and window units may not be as effective at cooling an entire home.

The New York, Las Vegas and Phoenix metros – all markets with sweltering summers – had the highest rent premiums for air conditioning. While central air conditioning is prevalent throughout Las Vegas and Phoenix, it is fairly rare in the New York metro, which includes northern New Jersey and Long Island. Just 17.2 percent of New York metro rental listings advertise air conditioning, compared with 54.7 percent of on-market rentals overall.


For-Sale Listings

Rental Listings

Metropolitan Area

Share Of
Homes Sold
With AC

Dollar
Premium

AC For-Sale
Premium

Share Of
Homes For
Rent With
AC

Dollar
Premium

AC Rent
Premium

United States

66.1%

$5,486

2.5%

54.7%

$40

2.8%

New
York/Northern
New Jersey

22.6%

$8,798

2.1%

17.2%

$275

11.6%

Los Angeles-Long
Beach-Anaheim,
CA

51.8%

$251

0.0%

42.5%

$135

4.9%

Chicago, IL

61.5%

$2,666

1.2%

32.7%

$54

3.3%

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

89.5%

$2,982

1.3%

87.0%

$38

2.4%

Philadelphia, PA

54.2%

$10,566

4.6%

45.6%

$43

2.7%

Houston, TX

96.7%

$9,072

4.6%

94.4%

$117

7.6%

Washington, DC

83.2%

$6,807

1.7%

74.0%

$15

0.7%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

56.5%

$10,208

3.8%

34.8%

$64

3.4%

Atlanta, GA

84.0%

$2,519

1.2%

79.7%

$10

0.7%

Boston, MA

45.4%

$6,461

1.4%

23.8%

$171

7.2%

San Francisco, CA

33.7%

$6,925

0.7%

27.0%

$46

1.4%

Detroit, MI

63.2%

$8,470

5.5%

46.1%

$28

2.4%

Riverside, CA

87.8%

$9,271

2.6%

87.4%

$133

7.0%

Phoenix, AZ

97.9%

$4,314

1.7%

94.5%

$141

10.3%

Seattle, WA

8.4%

-$5,622

-1.1%

6.8%

-$66

-3.0%

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

81.5%

$1,297

0.5%

64.8%

$53

3.2%

San Diego, CA

10.8%

$4,084

0.7%

12.1%

-$5

-0.2%

St. Louis, MO

81.3%

$695

0.4%

81.4%

$17

1.5%

Tampa, FL

84.3%

$2,279

1.1%

81.2%

$5

0.4%

Baltimore, MD

74.6%

$12,055

4.6%

61.4%

$11

0.6%

Denver, CO

45.2%

$531

0.1%

40.3%

$26

1.3%

Pittsburgh, PA

58.5%

$3,260

2.3%

42.0%

$43

4.0%

Portland, OR

32.6%

$6,464

1.7%

27.9%

$58

3.2%

Charlotte, NC

83.1%

$4,932

2.5%

87.2%

$46

3.6%

Sacramento, CA

81.1%

$4,490

1.1%

75.4%

$119

6.4%

San Antonio, TX

89.6%

$10,757

5.8%

87.2%

$108

8.1%

Orlando, FL

96.3%

$5,361

2.4%

93.9%

$84

5.8%

Cincinnati, OH

77.4%

$9,092

5.7%

63.9%

$29

2.3%

Cleveland, OH

67.4%

$6,182

4.4%

46.9%

$64

5.6%

Kansas City, MO

75.8%

$5,530

3.1%

60.2%

$13

1.0%

Las Vegas, NV

99.1%

$13,620

5.2%

98.1%

$135

10.4%

Columbus, OH

91.1%

$5,447

3.0%

74.0%

$10

0.8%

Indianapolis, IN

93.6%

$8,180

5.4%

76.9%

$66

5.5%

San Jose, CA

28.8%

-$2,084

-0.2%

32.3%

$76

2.2%

Austin, TX

92.5%

$8,074

2.7%

75.4%

$108

6.4%

Zillow

Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with great real estate professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow Group's Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. Dr. Gudell and her team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 450 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG), and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.




i This analysis looked at homes with and without central air conditioning that were sold or listed for rent between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018 in the 35 largest metro areas. It controlled for variables that can affect the value of a home, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, age of the home and its location.

ii https://www.zillow.com/report/2017/buyers/wants-needs/

iii https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-high-and-low-temperatures

 

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