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Energy-efficient and sustainable home features seem to be appealing to buyers, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

NAR released its 2021 REALTORS® and Sustainability Report on Tues., April 20, showing that 65% of agents and brokers agree that promoting energy efficiency in listings was valuable. The report—which consists of findings from a survey of 5,048 NAR members—found that more than half of the respondents said consumers were somewhat interested in a home’s sustainability.

That appears to be due, in large part, to the impact green features can have on utility bills. Among the list of features that brokers and agents believe to be important to clients, three quarters of REALTORS® listed a home’s utility bills and operating costs as important to consumers.

Forty-six percent of agents and brokers said that a home’s efficient use of lighting (e.g. Energy Star fixtures, LED bulbs) were at least somewhat important to clients, while a third of REALTORS® said renewable energy—geothermal heating and cooling and solar panels—were also important to consumers.

“A growing number of consumers are seeking homes with features that are good for the environment and, by extension, good for their wallets by reducing utility expenses in the long run,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of Demographics and Behavioral Insights. “The pandemic has led to an increased focus on wellness, and sustainability is an important variable in that overall equation for some people.”

More than half of the surveyed respondents worked in suburban areas, followed by 34% in urban and central city areas, and 36% in small towns and rural areas. NAR’s report also examined sustainability issues facing the industry, including lagging understanding of lending options for energy upgrades—like solar panels—or their impact on a transaction or value of a home.

A majority of respondents said properties with solar panels were available in their respective markets, while 40% said solar panels increased the perceived value of a home.

Roughly a third of REALTORS® said they had been directly involved with buying or selling a property that had green or eco-friendly features in the past 12 months.

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

Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jgrice@rismedia.com.

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