Homebuyers Show Greater Interest in Green Living

Energy-efficient homes are a hot commodity for modern buyers.

  • Small, red public park building with solar panels on the metal rooftop on a mostly sunny summer day.
    Photo by Getty Images/Serenethos

A transition toward greener living is happening in the homebuying market, and real estate agents are taking notice. Realtors around the country are seeing increased value in promoting energy efficiency, sustainability, and other green features in the homes they sell, and 7 out of 10 realtors believe that these subjects are major selling points for their clients.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 sustainability report, more than half of homebuyers are interested in homes with Earth-friendly features that reduce their use of fossil fuels. This includes energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, water-saving landscaping and appliances, and renewable energy systems, such as solar panels and geothermal heating. Solar panels are particularly increasing in popularity, as 80 percent of realtors surveyed reported their presence in the homes they sold, and close to half the realtors believed the panels added to the perceived value of a home. Tiny homes are also growing in prevalence, as 24 percent of brokers reported having them in their market.

While the green building industry is growing quickly, this report reveals there’s plenty of room for expansion. Currently, just a quarter of realtors have sold an energy-efficient home in the past year, and consumer demand is fast outpacing the available supply. As homebuyers become increasingly interested in sustainability, realtors will need to continue to adapt their practices to promote the Earth-friendly benefits of the homes they list.

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