Real estate agents in the United States have found that people are more interested in sustainable properties and demand for greener homes is growing.

Over half report that consumers have interest in real estate sustainability issues and practices, according to the latest research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

‘As consumers’ interest in sustainability grows, agents understand the necessity of promoting sustainability in their real estate practice, such as marketing energy efficiency in property listings to home buyers,’ said NAR resident William Brown.

He explained that the NAR Sustainability Programme has been set up to provide leadership and strategies on topics of sustainability to benefit members, consumers and communities at a time when more multiple listing services are incorporating data entry fields to identify a property’s green features.

Indeed, some 43% of those surveyed reported that their MLS has green data fields and only 19% do not and it emerged that agents see great value in promoting energy efficiency in listings with seven out of 10 feeling strongly about the benefits in promoting those features to clients.

The survey also asked about renewable energy and its impact on the real estate market. A majority of agents and brokers, some 80%, said that solar panels are available in their market and 42% said solar panels increased the perceived property value.

When asked about involvement with clients and green properties, some 27% of agents and brokers were involved with one to five properties that had green features in the last 12 months but 70% of members worked with no properties that had green features, leaving a great deal of room for future growth.

The home features that agents and clients consider as very or somewhat important include a home’s efficient use of lighting, mentioned by 50%, while 40% said a smart/connected home, 37% green community features such as bike lanes and green spaces, 32% landscaping for water conservation and 23% renewable energy systems such as solar and geothermal.

When it comes to the sustainable neighbourhood features some 60% of agents listed parks and outdoor recreation, 37% listed access to local food and 9% listed recycling. The survey also found that transportation and commuting features are very or somewhat important to 51%.

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