Consumers continue interest in sustainable home features

Sustainable home features and environmentally friendly neighborhoods continue to be important factors for homebuyers when choosing a home.

According to the second annual REALTORS® and Sustainability Report, 61 percent of surveyed members of the National Association of REALTORS® reported that consumers have an interest in sustainability when it comes to buying a home. The report surveyed REALTORS® about sustainability issues facing consumers in the real estate market and ways REALTORS® are setting their own goals to reduce energy usage.

“As consumer demand for sustainability grows, REALTORS® continue to work to promote environmentally responsible features and better business practices. For the second year in a row, data has shown that more REALTORS® are marketing energy efficiency in property listings to homebuyers, with more information fields in the listing to identify a property’s green features,” said Seattle King County REALTORS® President Shane Davies.

In order to keep up with the growth in consumer interest in green features, four in 10 REALTORS® stated that sustainability and green data fields are included in their Multiple Listing Service. Among those that have green data fields, almost 40 percent use them to promote green features, 27 percent to promote energy information and 16 percent to promote their green education certifications.

Consumers also look at the transportation and commuting options in a community as important environmental considerations when purchasing a home. REALTORS® find that consumers want easy access to highways (82 percent), short commute times and distance to work (81 percent), and walkability (51 percent).

“REALTORS® are growing their expertise in home performance and efficiency, as 39 percent are comfortable or extremely comfortable in the subject. Nearly half of REALTORS® say they are confident or extremely confident in their ability to connect clients with green home lenders,” said Davies.

NAR initiated the REALTORS® Sustainability Program as a platform for dialogue on sustainability for REALTORS®, brokers, allied trade associations and consumers. The program’s efforts focus on coordination and articulation of NAR’s existing sustainability resources, while also supporting a growing area of interest for consumers, helping REALTORS® to assist home buyers and sellers.