A ‘Green Guide’ to buying and selling your home

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Lake Macquarie homes with sustainability features outperform those without such features, financially, environmentally and socially.

That’s the finding from a research report from PRDnationwide; the study found that sustainable properties take up to 13 days less to sell and have a 10 percent higher median sale price.

PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie managing director, Mark Kentwell, said while sustainability features can mean different things to different people, the research used the World Commission on Environment and Development definition as its foundation. The research considered the function and layout of space, the health and safety of occupants, how comfortable occupants are, the costs to occupants, and the lifespan of the building.

The findings form part of the newly released Your Green Guide Residential Real Estate 2018, designed to help buyers and sellers to be more aware of the importance of sustainable housing when they buy or sell.

The Guide includes a 15 point Green Scorecard which includes features that contribute to sustainability such as:

  • insulation in the roof, walls, ceilings and floors
  • solar panels
  • energy efficient appliances, taps and light fittings
  • water tanks
  • vegetable gardens
  • grey water systems
  • quality, non-toxic building materials
  • good building orientation and cross flow ventilation
  • an open floor plan that allows for multiple uses and can be easily adapted to a changing lifestyle.

It identifies a number of benefits from having a sustainable residential property including:

  • higher median price and higher resale value
  • less days to sell
  • more savings on utility bills and less maintenance
  • reduced construction materials and emissions

The research and Guide was developed by PRDnationwide’s national research manager Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo in partnership with experts from Queensland University of Technology and PRDnationwide agents, through the Australian Research Council Linkage project. Researchers examined 215 houses, which were sold multiple times between 2004-2014 in Townsville.

Mr Kentwell said the research findings can be extrapolated to the Newcastle and Hunter property market. He has seen similar benefits to local properties with sustainable features and predicts sustainability will have increasing importance over time.

“With 51 percent of Australian household wealth held in residential property (2016), buyers and sellers need information about the economic benefits of sustainability features to help guide their decision making.

“People are becoming more socially conscious and there is huge untapped potential for sustainable property as investment products.

“Sustainability ratings create additional market value for houses.

“Investors, owners and property managers are starting to explore the value of certified buildings through concepts such as risk, life cycle costing, and operational efficiency.”

The authors of the Guide call for real estate agents, property valuers, financiers, and other professionals involved in the residential property market to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits and outcomes of sustainable housing for informing decision-making practices for home owners and investors.

For a free copy of the Guide simply text GreenGuidePRD to 0429 272 015.