WASHINGTON – Thirty-two percent of Realtors® said they had been directly involved with buying or selling a property that had green or eco-friendly features in the past 12 months, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®.
NAR’s 2021 Realtors® and Sustainability Report surveyed Realtors® about sustainability issues facing the real estate industry. The association released the report in recognition of this year’s upcoming Earth Day celebration.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said promoting energy efficiency in listings was valuable, with 36% reporting that their multiple listing service had green data fields. Among Realtors® who did have MLS green data fields, 36% used them to promote green features, 25% highlighted energy information and 13% listed green certifications. More than half of those surveyed – 55% – said their clients were interested in sustainability.
“A growing number of consumers are seeking homes with features that are good for the environment and, by extension, good for their wallets by reducing utility expenses in the long run,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “The pandemic has led to an increased focus on wellness and sustainability is an important variable in that overall equation for some people.”
A strong majority of Realtors® – 82% – said properties with solar panels were available in their market and 40% said solar panels increased the perceived property value.
Twenty-two percent of respondents said that a high-performance home – defined as a systematic building science approach to home improvements that enhance indoor comfort, health, operational efficiency and durability – increased the dollar value offered compared to other similar homes.
The home features that Realtors® believed were most important to clients included the windows, doors, and siding (39%); proximity to frequently visited places (38%); a comfortable living space (37%); a home’s utility bills and operating costs (23%); and commuting costs (15%).
A quarter of respondents – 25% – had clients who frequently or sometimes requested to see properties close to public transportation. Fourteen percent of those surveyed said that a neighborhood’s walkability was very important to their clients while 8% said the same about access to bike lanes and paths.
In March 2021, NAR invited a random sample of 65,471 active Realtors® to fill out an online survey. A total of 5,048 useable responses were received for an overall response rate of 7.7%. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error is plus-or-minus 1.38%.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.