It's time to get serious about going green

From a real estate point of view, I think we can definitely say that the benefits of including green features in a property certainly go beyond the aspiration of owners to be environmentally friendly. 

From the data that has been coming out for a couple of years now, as well as the attitudes of buyers that our agents are seeing in the marketplace, I am becoming firmer in my stance that the inclusion of environmentally sustainable features in new buildings or renovation projects is increasingly necessary for property owners looking to attract as many buyers as possible when selling.    

Putting aside for a moment the positive feelings you may get from doing your bit for the environment, it really doesn’t make financial sense for green features to be ignored, especially if you are renovating or building from scratch.  Not only can such features assist with reducing the costs of operating your property, without them you may actually find its value suffers. 

For example, solar (including hot water systems and roof panels) and LED lights are two proven green technologies that can both save you money and make your property more attractive to buyers. 

A recent survey suggests that Victorians are leaning towards green features in their homes.  According to the 2010 pulse practitioner and consumer survey released by the Victorian Building Commission, Victorian building consumers are placing increased value on environmental sustainable building, with 85 per cent of respondents rating it as important. 

These findings echo the conclusions of the 2008 report Energy Efficiency Rating and House Price in the ACT, published by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.  The study, which was the first of its kind in Australia, found that a significant relationship exists between house price and energy efficiency rating, evidence that the residential market values the energy performance of a property. 

I don’t think it’s surprising that such a value is placed on green features in a property, especially given the recent increases in the cost of living and expectations that it will continue to rise.  People will be searching for innovative ways to cut costs, and what better place to start than in your own home? What this means is that buyers will and are starting to lean more toward properties that are energy efficient when making decisions about a real estate purchase. 

Thus, when it comes time to sell, the presence of green features in your property will ensure that it appeals to both those who wish to be environmentally responsible and others who recognise the cost savings that accompany reduced energy use. 

Although individual circumstances differ, I strongly encourage all readers, especially those who are building from scratch or renovating, to consider including environmentally sustainable features in their plans.  Not only will you be having a positive impact on the environment, you could be improving the value of your home.

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 21/03/2011 at 10:05 AM | Categories: Investors - State of the Market -

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