Quiet street, open-plan living, sizeable backyard, modern kitchen, close to public transport; these are just some of the boxes Australian buyers hope to tick when searching for their dream homes.
But in 2021, and with climate change the single greatest threat facing humanity today, it seems buyers have added a few extra eco-conscious features to their lists.
The new Residential Consumer Omnibus survey from realestate.com.au, Australia’s number one place for property, has found 74% of people believe a good energy efficiency rating is important or very important when it comes to buying, building or renting.
These results reflect our shared concern for the state of the planet and our commitment to making a difference in the ways we live at home. Not only is it hopeful to see how much Australians care about their at-home footprints, but this data could serve as inspiration to those planning to sell to embark on a sustainable renovation before listing their home.
In the survey of 2000, a handful of notable sustainable home features were called out as particularly desirable for buyers and renters. From rainwater tanks and energy-efficient lighting, these are the top five sustainable property features Australian’s want right now.
1. Solar power
According to the data, 81% of people wanted solar panels in their next homes. Sure it’s an investment on the offset, but the feature is cost-effective in more ways than one.
With the money a household can save on electricity with solar panels, the feature typically pays itself off in around two years (households can save between $1000 and $2000 a year in energy bills). In addition, households that feed energy back to the grid can even make money.
2. Efficient lighting
The second most desirable green feature is efficient lighting, and good news, because this one is easier and less expensive to apply. The survey found 71% of people hope to find efficient lighting in their next homes — this refers to skylights, large windows that make the most of sun positioning, and LED lights, which use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
Nobody wants a draughty home, in fact, good insulation is the third most important feature for climate-conscious buyers. Solid insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings keep a house cool in summer and toasty in winter, thus helping households save on artificial heating, which according to Huglo, accounts for 40% of a household’s usage.
4. Good airflow
Maybe it’s the 2020 effect manifesting in our need for fresh, clean air, but according to the survey, good airflow is high on the list for Australians. Quality ventilation and air quality are important to buyers, as is cross ventilation, which refers to the little breezes that flow through a window at one end of the house and out the other end. Also a key component to ‘passive design’, strategic ventilation can significantly reduce the need for artificial cooling.
5. Energy-efficient appliances
We love a house with a dishwasher for selfish reasons, but in 2021 and beyond, homemakers are looking for properties with energy-efficient appliances. When searching for a home, be sure to check out the appliance models and look up the energy ratings online if stickers have been pulled off. And if you’re in the market for new appliances, prioritise your purchases according to star ratings if you have the means. Not only will it benefit you, but it will go further to getting your home over the line when it comes time to sell.