On the Value of Environmental Certification in the Commercial Real Estate Market

Rogier Holtermans*, Nils Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A significant part of the global carbon externality stems from the real estate sector. Environmental certification is often hailed as an effective means to resolve the information asymmetry that may prevent markets from effectively pricing the energy performance of buildings. This study analyzes the adoption and financial outcomes of environmentally certified commercial real estate over time. We document that nearly 40% of space in the 30 largest U.S. commercial real estate markets holds some kind of environmental certification in 2014, as compared to less than 5% in 2005. Tracking the rental growth of 26,212 office buildings, we measure the performance of environmentally certified real estate over time. We document that certified office buildings, on average, have slightly higher rental, occupancy and pricing levels, but do not outperform non-certified buildings in rental growth over the 2004-2013 period. Further performance attribution analysis indicates that local climate conditions, local energy prices and the extent of certification lead to significant heterogeneity in market pricing. On aggregate, these findings provide some evidence on the efficiency of the market in the adoption and capitalization of environmental characteristics in the commercial real estate market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-722
Number of pages38
JournalReal Estate Economics
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • ENERGY LABELS
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ECONOMICS
  • QUALITY

Cite this

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title = "On the Value of Environmental Certification in the Commercial Real Estate Market",
abstract = "A significant part of the global carbon externality stems from the real estate sector. Environmental certification is often hailed as an effective means to resolve the information asymmetry that may prevent markets from effectively pricing the energy performance of buildings. This study analyzes the adoption and financial outcomes of environmentally certified commercial real estate over time. We document that nearly 40{\%} of space in the 30 largest U.S. commercial real estate markets holds some kind of environmental certification in 2014, as compared to less than 5{\%} in 2005. Tracking the rental growth of 26,212 office buildings, we measure the performance of environmentally certified real estate over time. We document that certified office buildings, on average, have slightly higher rental, occupancy and pricing levels, but do not outperform non-certified buildings in rental growth over the 2004-2013 period. Further performance attribution analysis indicates that local climate conditions, local energy prices and the extent of certification lead to significant heterogeneity in market pricing. On aggregate, these findings provide some evidence on the efficiency of the market in the adoption and capitalization of environmental characteristics in the commercial real estate market.",
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On the Value of Environmental Certification in the Commercial Real Estate Market. / Holtermans, Rogier; Kok, Nils.

In: Real Estate Economics, Vol. 47, No. 3, 09.2019, p. 685-722.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - A significant part of the global carbon externality stems from the real estate sector. Environmental certification is often hailed as an effective means to resolve the information asymmetry that may prevent markets from effectively pricing the energy performance of buildings. This study analyzes the adoption and financial outcomes of environmentally certified commercial real estate over time. We document that nearly 40% of space in the 30 largest U.S. commercial real estate markets holds some kind of environmental certification in 2014, as compared to less than 5% in 2005. Tracking the rental growth of 26,212 office buildings, we measure the performance of environmentally certified real estate over time. We document that certified office buildings, on average, have slightly higher rental, occupancy and pricing levels, but do not outperform non-certified buildings in rental growth over the 2004-2013 period. Further performance attribution analysis indicates that local climate conditions, local energy prices and the extent of certification lead to significant heterogeneity in market pricing. On aggregate, these findings provide some evidence on the efficiency of the market in the adoption and capitalization of environmental characteristics in the commercial real estate market.

KW - ENERGY LABELS

KW - PERFORMANCE

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