Environmentally-friendly homes are in growing demand among buyers, with a new survey showing that three in five buyers would pay extra for 'green' property.
 
According to PRDnationwide, 30% of respondents said they would fork out up to $10,000 more to buy a house that was environmentally friendly, while 9% would spend $30,000 or more.
 
A significant number of respondents (16%) said they are also willing to pay $10,000–20,000 extra to ensure the next house they bought was environmentally friendly, with another 4% saying they would pay an extra $20,000–30,000.
 
Most people have a small voice inside of them which wants to protect and ensure the environment stays ‘green’,” said Jim Midgley, PRDnationwide managing director.
 
“It really is a question at the moment of ‘at what cost’ are they willing to pay to have their own environment-friendly home,” he added. “The research shows that installing environmentally-friendly features could make the difference to potential buyers, possibly as much as a nicely finished kitchen or bathroom would.”
 
Water conservation ranks as one of the most desirable green features in Australia because of the nationwide battle with drought, according to Midgely. “Second to this, solar energy is quickly becoming the ‘it’ feature to install in not only new dwellings, but existing older homes as well,” he said.
 
Aaron Maskrey, PRDnationwide research director, said having an energy-efficient home that results in long-term savings would appeal to most buyers. However, there is a point where potential buyers would be put off by the initial installation cost.
 
Maskrey suggested that investors who didn’t want to ‘overcapitalise’ on being green when it comes to sale time should look to install low-cost environmentally-friendly additions.
 
“If they’re looking to keep the property for a long period of time, environmentally-friendly additions to the property could prove to be a key differentiator in the market and sellers would have the time to slowly introduce these additions into the property, not putting strain on the budget,” Maskrey said.
 
“In the short term, as interest rates slowly increase and facilitating home loans become the main priority, environmentally-friendly additions to the home could take a back seat.”

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