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Energy-Efficient Homes Attractive to Buyers in Northeast

by Sal Prividera on

Real estate professionals and consumers are recognizing the benefits of homes and commercial properties that promote sustainability, according to a recent study released by the National Association of Realtors®.

Energy efficiency was found to be very or somewhat valuable in marketing home listings by 70% of the member respondents, according to the 2020 Realtors® and Sustainability Report. That number increased to 72% among Realtors® in the Northeast. State-level data were not reported.

“Homes that are in the Northeast tend to not only be impacted by cold weather, but also are typically older which can add to monthly utilities,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “If a home is more efficient, a homebuyer may be able to buy a larger home or a home that is closer to their ideal location by cutting utility costs.”

Consumers are at least somewhat interested in sustainability – 61%. “As homeowners make upgrades to their current homes, they often look to make home improvements more energy efficient,” said Lautz. “This could be attractive to a homebuyer if they think of selling or for the enjoyment of the homeowner.”

Other significant residential findings included:

  • Clients deemed comfortable living space, proximity to frequently visited places, and windows, doors and siding as “very important” home features, Realtors® reported.
  • Solar panels, available in the markets of 85% of respondents, were found by 40% to offer a perceived increase in property value. In the Northeast, solar panels are found in 94% of the markets with 36% of Realtors® reporting an increase in value. The existence of solar panels was not found to have an effect on a home’s time on market by 44%.
  • MLS green data fields used to promote green features and energy information were available in 42% of the members’ MLSs.
  • A majority of brokerages – 60% – did not have experience with residential building repurposing.

Nearly 75% of commercial agents and brokers reported that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable, and 58% were extremely comfortable or very comfortable with answering client questions about building performance.

Other significant commercial findings included:

  • Involvement with the sale of a property that had green features in the past 12 months was reported by 37% of respondents.
  • Green data fields were reported to be available in their Commercial Information Exchange by 19% of respondents with those fields being used to promote energy information and green features. Twenty-five percent of respondents from the Northeast reported green data fields included in listings.
  • Realtors® believed the most important building features to clients included utility and operations costs, indoor air quality, efficient use of lighting, and windows, doors and furnishings.
  • Green certifications, such as LEED, Green Globes or Living Building Challenge, were reported by 30% to have spent neither more or less time on the market.
  • Nearly 40% of brokerage firms had experience working with commercial building repurposing such as converting empty malls into technical schools.

The complete report is available at nar.realtor.

Topics

NAR Energy efficiency Green homes Sustainability
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