As society becomes more aware of the potential negative impacts humans have on the environment, there has become a growing demand for eco-friendly living.
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Green building trends are now beginning to shape the real estate market, with homebuyers preferring to invest in a sustainable home.
These homes, that feature green technologies for enhanced energy efficiency, are transforming the way people buy real estate.
Along with more energy-efficient homes on the market, real estate agents are also tapping into the green housing trend by showcasing the environmental features of a property when selling.
Building developers plugging into the real estate market
Building developers and vendors are noticing the increased demand for sustainable living and meeting it with high-tech, energy-efficient homes.
These modern homes come outfitted with everything from solar panels to home energy consumption monitors and even leak detectors alerting homeowners of any pipe leaks. Home security is also being ‘greenified’ with smart home alarm systems keeping an artificial eye out for intruders, along with motion sensors to control light and sprinkler systems.
Of these developments, the most important aspect for homeowners and buyers is that many emerging green technologies not only save on energy costs, but they can also bring a healthy return on investment.
Green building and renovating
Although green technologies are increasingly being built in modern homes, they can also be refitted to existing homes with ease, increasing a property’s resale value.
The resale value of green homes is usually greater than those properties without any green technologies or features. In fact, the median sale price of green homes is 10% higher than in traditional homes.
Homeowners are becoming aware of both the environmental and financial benefits of introducing green technologies to their homes, taking out green loans to add energy-saving features to their existing property.
In Australia, 4 in 10 current home improvement borrowers indicated that they would make additional green changes to their homes over the next 12 months. These changes included green technologies such as batteries and solar panels, migrating over to energy-efficient lighting and energy-efficient air conditioning and heating: the latter proving to be the most popular modifications on the cards for homeowners over the next 12 months.
Promoting sustainable features
With a strong consumer-led push for energy-efficient houses and increasing evidence that sustainable features increase property value, real estate agents are now promoting the green features of a house when selling.
In today’s property market, real estate agents are now highlightingthe environmental features and credentials of a property. The majority of real estate agents and vendors have indicated that promoting energy efficiency in their commercial listings was valuable. The top green technology features that real estate agents promote include solar panels, efficient use of lighting and insulation.
Homebuyers are also looking for security, convenience and a ‘wow factor’ when it comes to green technology features. Some of these include:
- Lighting control: Allowing homeowners to switch lights on & off or set automated timers via mobile phone, remote or voice control.
- Automated blinds: Providing the convenience of opening and shutting blinds on command or when conditions demand. These blinds shut automatically when hot and can also work with thermostats so that they can adjust themselves when they sense you’re not home.
- Rain harvesting system: Rain collecting systems connect to a home’s guttering to collect and store rainwater for non-portable use. This recycled water can then be used as irrigation, for watering plants, and to flush toilets.
- HVAC system: Heating and cooling of homes typically cost homeowners around 43% of their total energy bills. An energy star rating HVAC system is a feature that many homeowners and buyers will look for if they want to cut costs and improve the efficiency of their homes.
These technologies reduce both a home’s carbon footprint and the homeowner’s annual recurring energy costs. Such features can result in significant savings in the long-term and may result in a higher resale value of the property.
Looking to the future
Green technologies in homes are expected to increase as more homebuyers are willing to pay more for energy-efficient homes that come equipped with cost-saving and energy-saving features.
In order to get an edge, both developers and homeowners are looking at ways to incorporate these eco-friendly technologies into their homes – making smart homes the new normal in real estate.
As more people are using their own savings to equip green technology into their existing homes, this can see even greater demand and adoption of sustainable homes within the property market.