The eco-friendly movement has changed real estate in recent years. Sustainability has been on the rise throughout the construction industry and real estate industry, so it’s important to understand it and how it might impact your real estate endeavors.

Sustainable construction and real estate development refer to incorporating environmentally friendly design practices and techniques, materials, and eco-friendly technologies into the home building/remodeling process. Many people are choosing environmentally friendly housing these days, aiming to reduce the overall carbon footprint of their families. Property owners and developers are “going green” more and more because of this, and homebuyers are reaping the rewards of their emphasis on sustainability in the residential arena as well.

In the US residential real estate market, spending for sustainable construction was predicted to increase from $55 billion in 2015 to $100.4 billion in 2018 in the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). In the July 2019 report “LEED in Motion: Residential” also published by the USGBC, statistics show just how much the green residential market has been transformed and continues to change, noting that properties certified to meet a “green standard” with an energy element (LEED) tend to have higher property values than those without certification. Other data supports this: there has been and will likely continue to be major growth in residential spending and construction spending since last year, with an unexpected level of growth in January 2021.

With this in mind, the clear difference between the prices of green homes and other homes makes sense. In Texas, a non-LEED certified home has a considerably lower property value than a LEED-certified house—there’s a difference in average property value of $25,000 according to a study conducted by the Real Estate Finance and Investment Center at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business that analyzed over 230,000 homes across the state. A 2020 survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that over 60% of realtors who responded to the survey said that buyers express interest in sustainability and environmentally friendly properties, with 70% of residential agents noting that green elements (from energy-saving solar panels to water-saving landscaping irrigation systems, and energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and kitchen appliances to eco-friendly paints with no VOC emissions and more) increase the perceived property value of homes on the market. As the demand for sustainable real estate products and practices continues, the transformation of the real estate market will continue as well.

If you are in the market for a new environmentally friendly home, learning about sustainable building and remodeling will help you choose a house that satisfies your needs and desires. Consulting a knowledgeable real estate agent can help is your best bet for navigating the market and understanding your options. If you are interested in viewing eco-friendly homes that are available on or near the Texas Gulf Coast, WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Place of Houses is the professional realty team to call. The Corpus Christi, Texas-based real estate agency employs experienced real estate specialists who are committed to providing exceptional guidance and support to their clients. Contact WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Place of Houses so a member of their expert real estate team can assist you in finding your new home.

Written by: Erika Mehlhaff