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Sustainability Is the New Normal – Who Is Getting Left Behind?

NAR: Over 50% of real estate clients are interested in sustainability; one-third of agents helped a client buy or sell a property with green features this past year.

WASHINGTON – As builders achieve more innovations in the sustainable home sector, real estate professionals need to take steps to ensure they don’t get left behind. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the number of single-family builders reporting at least 61% of their projects as “green” will increase from 31% in 2015 to 44% in 2022.

Real estate agents surveyed by the National Association of Realtors earlier this year reported that more than half of their clients were interested in sustainability, while one-third of agents said they had helped a client buy or sell a property with green features in the past year.

Chris Widmer, an architect and owner of a green-focused building firm in Connecticut, notes there is a basic financial hurdle because many certified green houses cost between 10% to 25% more than comparable builds.

Nevertheless, sustainability and energy efficiency will actually come to define the market as time goes on, asserts Wayne Beals, a managing broker with EXIT Strategy Realty in Chicago. He says even consumers who are not concerned about issues like global warming “will still want to live in a better house, and that is what is going to drive the change in the industry.”

Aman Daro, chief operating officer at Red Oak Realty in the San Francisco Bay Area, says the company’s offices recently became carbon neutral, and provides time for agents to learn about or discuss sustainability.

Arlene Baxter, an agent with Red Oak, says in many cases, implementing “green” features is just common sense. This includes the electrification of homes to install heat pumps, installing mini-split air conditioning and heating units, and using recycled denim for insulation.

Source: RISMedia (09/02/21) Williams, Jesse

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