WASHINGTON — The number of Realtors involved with buying or selling a property with energy efficiency features has significantly increased in the past year, according to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors. The 2022 Realtors and Sustainability Report surveyed NAR members nationwide regarding sustainability issues currently facing the real estate industry.
Half of agents and brokers surveyed said they helped a client buy or sell a property with green features during the past 12 months, a notable jump compared to 32% in 2021.
Nearly two out of three respondents – 63% – said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable. Over half of agents and brokers – 51% – found that their clients were somewhat or very interested in sustainability. And 35% reported that their multiple listing service features green data fields. Among those with green data fields in their MLS, the top ways they were used were to promote green features (35%), energy information (24%) and green certifications (13%).
“Sustainability continues to play a growing role in consumers’ purchasing decisions, and this is becoming even more prevalent in the real estate market,” said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. “With the residential property market, in particular, home buyers have expressed increased interest in eco-friendly factors like solar panels and energy efficiency.”
Roughly three out of four Realtors – 77% – said that properties with rooftop solar panels were available in their market. These numbers were highest in the West (89%) and Northeast (86%). Thirty-six percent said that homes with solar panels increased the perceived property value, compared to 30% that said they had no effect.
The report also noted rising anxiety among Realtors about the effect of climate change and extreme weather events on their businesses. More than one out of three respondents – 34% – said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of extreme weather events on the housing market.
Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, said that the increased focus on sustainability in recent years is a win-win for all homeowners.
“More sustainable homes bring benefits to homeowners like cost savings from energy efficiency, health benefits from improved indoor air quality, and increased comfort and durability from material use and construction, and may also increase resale value,” Lautz said.