Homes with sustainable features are in more demand
by Michelle Hele
Homes with sustainable features are making buyers green with envy as new research reveals they are in high demand and often sell for more.
The research revealed properties with sustainable features sold on average 13 days quicker and the median sale price was 10 per cent higher than properties without such features.
The research is the result of three years work through the Australia Research Council Linkage project by PRDnationwide in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany, and other industry partners.
It found sustainable properties outperformed conventional competitors environmentally, socially and financially.
PRDnationwide national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo, said the research had reinforced to her that the real estate industry needed to increase communication with real estate agents to potential buyers and sellers about sustainability features in their homes.
“These features not only contribute to improving the price of properties but also decrease the time taken to sell the property,’’ she said.
She said their research showed that houses with sustainable features achieved the most competitive market price.
The research involved 215 houses which were sold multiple times between 2004-2014, 22 of those houses had sustainability features. It also interviewed 47 real estate agents throughout Australia.
The research came up with seven top benefits of having a property with sustainable features:
• Saving on utility bills and maintenance
• Reduced construction materials and emissions
• Fewer days to sell the listed property
• Improved comfort and lifestyle
• Higher median price
• Higher resale value
• Informed decision making
Jane Elvin of LJ Hooker Annerley, Yeronga, said “green features’’ were in big demand, particularly with mature buyers.
“I find people looking at retirement and more mature buyers — it is very important to them,’’ she said. “One of the first things they ask is, ‘Are there solar panels and gas hot water?’. They are very mindful of costs as they are preparing to retire and don’t want too many outlays.”
Having an ultra low-maintenance footprint is something developer Dario Pigozzo of P3 Projects is very focused on.
He has just sold out of his Ison development at Morningside which included a 3-phase, battery ready, home energy management system capable of powering the full capacity of the home’s heating and cooling systems that is connected to a 3.2kw solar power system.
Mr Pigozzo said it was a company ethos to deliver on low maintenance living.
As a result they used double the insulation required in the build, used louvres extensively to allow for cross ventilation and ensured all appliances were energy efficient. “Not all developers do it,’’ he said. “These city homes are quite unique in this suburb.’’
John Smith director of sales Brisbane for Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty said it was the homes with Tesla powerwalls which were really in demand.
The wall is a fully integrated AC Battery system for residential use which when added to solar power allows homeowners to store excess power to use later.
Mr Smith said there were not many existing homes with the Tesla walls — at this stage it was mostly new builds.
“It is still unusual, they have only been around for about two or three years now, we are just getting more properties.’’
Mr Smith said they had just sold a home in Auchenflower with a Tesla wall.
“I think they attract a premium price,” he said. “I think people are looking for these features now.’’
He said while cost of living savings were part of the reason, buyers were also environmentally conscious.
Homes without the full blown Tesla walls were in demand if they had solar power and were able to sell that power back to the energy provider.
“We have a house coming up for sale in Aspley where the homeowner hasn’t had to pay an electricity bill for three or four years,’’ he said.
This article originally appeared on Realestate.com.au on 15 April 2018.