Among homebuyers and sellers, there is a notable increase in demand for sustainable qualities in homes. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recent REALTORS® and Sustainability report shows more than half of REALTORS® indicated that consumers are interested in real estate sustainability issues and practices.
“As consumers’ interest in sustainability grows, Realtors understand the necessity of promoting sustainability in their real estate practice, such as marketing energy efficiency in property listings to homebuyers,” says NAR President William E. Brown. “The goal of the NAR Sustainability Program is to provide leadership and strategies on topics of sustainability to benefit members, consumers and communities.”
To adjust and accommodate the growing consumer interest, more Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) are including data entry fields to identify a property’s green features; 43 percent of respondents report their MLS has green data fields, and only 19 percent do not. Real estate professionals see great value in promoting energy efficiency features within listings, with seven out of 10 stating that they feel strongly about the benefits in promoting those features to potential homebuyers.
The survey asked respondents about renewable energy and their perceived impact of renewable energy on the real estate market. 80 percent of agents and brokers said that solar panels are available in their market; forty-two percent said solar panels increased the property value.
The home features that survey respondents said clients consider as very or somewhat important include a home’s efficient use of lighting (50 percent), a smart/connected home (40 percent), green community features such as bike lanes and green spaces (37 percent), landscaping for water conservation (32 percent), and renewable energy systems such as solar and geothermal (23 percent).
When it comes to the sustainable neighborhood features that clients favor, 60 percent of survey respondents listed parks and outdoor recreation, 37 percent listed access to local food and nine percent listed recycling.
As conversations regarding sustainability issues and practices become more widespread and features for homes further develop, it will be interesting to see how this conversation progresses between real estate professionals, homebuilders, homebuyers, and sellers in the coming months and years.