Trends in building with green materials and techniques are beginning to shape the real estate market, and homebuyers are showing a preference for investing in a sustainable home.

With environmentally responsible technologies, always designed to improve energy efficiency, these houses are transforming the way people buy real estate.

Not only are the most energy-efficient houses on the market, but real estate agents are taking advantage of the green home trend to showcase the environmental features of a property when selling it and make it more attractive to buyers.

The real estate developers who connect to the real estate market

Building developers and sellers are noticing the increasing demand for sustainable lifestyles and know that their new construction investments must be in high-tech, energy-efficient homes.

These modern homes come equipped with all the necessary technology, from solar panels to home energy monitors and even leak detectors to alert owners to any leaks in the plumbing system. The homes' security is also adapting to sustainability, including intelligent alarm systems to artificially monitor intruders, along with motion sensors to control light and sprinkler systems.

Of these new buildings, the most important aspect for homeowners and buyers is that many emerging green technologies not only save energy, but can also provide a large return on investment if they make the decision to sell.

Construction and ecological renovation

Although more and more green technologies are being included in new construction, existing houses can also be easily refurbished, increasing the resale value of a property.

The resale value of green houses is often higher than properties without green technologies or features. In fact, the average sales price of greenhomes is 10% higher than that of traditional homes.

Homeowners are becoming aware of the environmental and financial benefits of introducing green technologies into their homes, and are taking out green loans to add energy-saving features to their existing properties. These credits are emerging as financial institutions see the advantage of this type of new housing.

Approximately 4 out of 10 current home improvement borrowers indicated that they would make further ecological changes to their homes in the next 12 months. Those changes included green technologies such as batteries and solar panels, replacing their current lighting with energy-efficient lighting, and replacing the heating and air conditioning system with another energy-efficient system.

Promotion of sustainable features

In today's real estate market, real estate agents are highlighting a property's environmental characteristics and credentials, as they have found that promoting energy efficiency in their commercial listings was a valuable feature. The main features of green technology that real estate agents promote include solar panels, efficient use of lighting and insulation.

Homebuyers also look for security, convenience and a "wow factor" when it comes to green technology features. Some of these include:

  • Lighting control: Allowing homeowners turn lights on and off or set automatic timers via cell phone, remote control or voice control.
  • Automated blinds: Provides the convenience of opening and closing blinds on demand or when conditions demand it. These blinds close automatically when they get hot and can also be operated by thermostats to adjust themselves when they sense you are not home.
  • Rain Collector System: Rain Collector Systems connect to the gutters of a home to collect and store rainwater for non-portable use. This recycled water can be used for irrigation, watering plants and flushing toilets.
  • HVAC system: Heating and cooling homes typically cost homeowners about 43% of their total energy bills. An energy star rated HVAC system is a feature that many homeowners and buyers will look for if they want to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their homes.

These technologies reduce both a home's carbon footprint and the homeowner's annual recurring energy costs. These features can lead to significant long-term savings and can result in a higher resale value of the property.

Looking to the future

Green technologies in homes are expected to increase as more home buyers are willing to pay more for energy-efficient homes that are equipped with cost and energy-saving features.

In order to gain an advantage, both developers and homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate these green technologies into their homes-making smart homes the new norm in real estate.