As going green and adopting sustainable development methods are increasingly becoming popular in the real estate and housing construction sectors, several trends are emerging. Here we take a look at what these trends are, and what they mean for the real estate sector across the country.
Australia and green building goals
In Australia, the Climate Change Authority has set an emissions reduction target of 15 per cent below the levels of the year 2000, to be achieved by 2020. Looking ahead to 2030, this target increases to between 40 and 60 per cent below 2000 levels.
Despite these goals, renewable energy sources aren’t being used as often as they should. Indeed, a recent Energy White Paper produced by the Department of Industry and Science found that only 6 per cent of the total energy consumption over 2012-2013 was generated from renewable sources.
While there is room for things to improve, the biggest positive is that Australians are wanting a greener future for their homes.
Trends in green housing
A whopping 87 per cent of people living in Australia would like solar panels installed on their homes, according to a report by independent market research company Ipsos.
In addition, geothermal energy is also a fairly popular choice, with 45 per cent of people interested in using the heat from below the Earth’s crust to supply warm water to their homes. Geo-exchange pumps are increasingly being used in housing construction, built under the house to transfer the natural heat from underground to the water inside the pipes before residents can shower or wash dishes.
“The results show Australians strongly support renewable energy and demonstrate the importance of involving and consulting locals,” stated Australian Renewable Energy Agency CEO Ivor Frischknecht.
Impact on buying real estate
It can prove to be fruitful to keep these trends in mind when planning to buy real estate. With more and more people attracted to green energy when buying real estate, both agents and buyers can keep note of the value of a home if it comes with environmentally friendly features.
For first home buyers, investing in a green home might at first glance feel like an extra expenditure or outside the budget, but it may in fact end up costing you less in the long term. For instance, a study published in the International Journal of Global Energy Issues found that solar water heating can pay for itself five times over, making it a sensible investment.
Why not invest in a home with solar friendly features already included and reap the benefits for years to come?