WASHINGTON — Members of the National Association of Realtors are doubling down on their commitment to promote environmentally friendly home features, adopt green business practices and encourage a culture of sustainability in real estate. With this in mind, NAR is releasing the REALTORS and Sustainability 2019 Report, which found that consumer demand in real estate continues to trend eco-friendly.
The report, found at www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/realtors-and-sustainability, is in its third iteration and stems from NAR’s Sustainability Program. It surveyed Realtors about sustainability issues in the residential and commercial real estate markets and the preferences they are seeing in consumers in their communities.
According to the report, 59 percent of respondents found that residential consumers were very or somewhat interested in sustainability. Seven in 10 residential and commercial agents and brokers reported that promoting energy efficiency in listings is either somewhat or very valuable.
“The state of the environment is important to our members and their business practices, and the report shows that sustainability impacts consumers’ home buying decisions as well,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation Realtor from Edina, Minnesota, and broker at Edina Realty. “Realtors remain on the cutting edge of sustainability and continue to lead the conversation about energy efficiency in real estate.”
A large majority of respondents (83 percent) said that solar panels were available in their markets, and 36 percent said that solar panels increased the perceived property value. However, only 8 percent of those surveyed said that solar panels decreased the perceived amount of time a home spent on the market. Solar panels are most prevalent in Northeast (available in 94 percent of markets) and respondents in the West were the most likely to report they increase perceived property value (41 percent).
Twenty-five percent of brokers indicated that tiny homes, homes that are 600 square feet or less, are available in their markets, a 2 percent increase from 2018. Only 13 percent of respondents said that wind farms were available in their markets.
The transportation and commuting features that Realtors stated are very or somewhat important to their clients include: easy access to highways (82 percent), short commute times and distance to work (81 percent) and walkability (51 percent) — the same as 2018.
This article was contributed to The Log by National Association of Realtors.