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Sustainable continues to be at the top of the list for many homebuyers. New data from the National Association of REALTORS®—2020 REALTORS® and Sustainability Report—breaks down the sustainability issues the real estate industry is facing.

The biggest challenge? A lack of understanding about how energy-efficiency in home improvement impacts property values. For example, 51 percent of those surveyed said they did not know the impact of a high-performance home—a systematic building science approach to home improvement that increases indoor comfort, health operational efficiency and durability—impacts the dollar value of a property.

Even more vague is the impact green certifications such as LEED, Energy Star or NGBS have on time homes spend on the market. Forty-eight percent were unclear, while 41 percent didn’t believe these certifications had any impact on time spent on market.

What’s most important to clients? According to the report, 52 percent most care about a home’s utility bills and operation costs; 48 percent focus on the age and quality of windows, doors and siding; and 47 percent zone in on proximity to frequently visited places like grocery stores or schools.

Overall, sustainability is at the top of the list—61 percent of REALTORS® said they had clients at least somewhat interested. And seven in 10 REALTORS® said promoting energy efficiency in listings was either very or somewhat valuable.

“As many families are currently spending more time at home, some are taking on improvement projects involving sustainable features,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “Some buyers are also deciding to purchase homes with environmentally-friendly components. In both instances, these households look to either reduce utility costs or increase personal comfort within their home.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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