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Real Estate Trends

Buyer Demand for Green Homes Trends Up

By Suzanne De Vita

If you ask the REALTORS® who work with them, buyer demand for green homes is trending up.

Homebuyers are interested in sustainability, according to 61 percent of REALTORS® in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTORS® and Sustainability 2018 Report—and, in many markets, they have options. Eighty percent of REALTORS® report their market has solar panels, and 23 percent report their market has tiny homes, or homes less than 600 square feet.

Approximately three-quarters (71 percent) of REALTORS® believe energy-efficient features are a highlight when marketing listings, cited as either “somewhat” or “very valuable,” and 40 percent of REALTORS® report their MLS has “green” data fields to showcase them, the report reveals. When it comes to communicating energy efficiency to homebuyers, 39 percent of REALTORS® are “comfortable” or “extremely comfortable” answering questions about efficiency and/or performance, even though 30 percent also believe there is a lack of materials for REALTORS®. Forty percent are “confident” or “extremely confident” that they can connect their homebuyers to a “green” lender.

Based on client feedback, homebuyers are looking for neighborhoods to have access to highways (according to 82 percent of REALTORS®), commutes that are short (81 percent) and walkability (51 percent), the report shows.

“Consumers continue to make it clear that environmentally-friendly features and neighborhoods are an important factor in deciding where and what home to buy,” says NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “REALTORS® are leaders in the conversation about real estate sustainability, energy conservation and resource efficiency, and will continue to promote environmentally-conscious strategies and best practices that benefit not just our clients, but also our communities.”

NAR’s Sustainability Report coincides with a® report that found that as energy-efficient homes increase in popularity and prices rise, green homes are not commanding as considerable a premium.

“Although Southern and Western states still lead the way in green technology adoption, eco-friendly features have grown in popularity across many regions of the United States,” said Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research at, in the report. “Many buyers have come to expect standard features, and homes integrating specialty green features are becoming more mainstream.”
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