April 22, Earth Day, is right around the corner. The Earth Day theme this year is “Restore Our Earth,” which is fitting as we break through the shroud of the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced so many of us into our homes over the last year, sometimes for quarantine, but mostly for refuge. Homeowners have thought more than ever before about how to make their houses more eco-friendly. They are having new homes built with locally sourced, sustainable materials, or remodeling spaces to include things like LED lighting, solar power, and smart home systems to help offset their carbon footprints and make bigger strides towards more sustainable living. 

The eco-friendly sustainability movement has impacted the real estate market in recent years, especially this last year; sustainability efforts have been on the rise. Sustainable construction and real estate development include practices and techniques of applying technologies and using materials that are environmentally friendly design, building, and/or remodeling process. People are seeking environmentally friendly homes, so property owners and developers are “going green” to accommodate them.

Spending for sustainable construction was predicted to increase from $55 billion in 2015 to $100.4 billion in 2018 in the US residential real estate market, according to the US Green Building Council’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study. Statistics noted in the July 2019 report “LEED in Motion: Residential” (also published by the USGBC), show the transformation and continued change in the green residential market. The data presented makes it clear that properties that have been certified to meet a “green standard” with an energy element (LEED) tend to benefit from higher property values. This is supported by other data as well—major growth in residential spending and construction spending will likely persist if the trend continues as it did into January 2021 which saw an unexpected level of growth.

There is a clear difference between the prices of green homes and other homes. In Texas, there’s a difference in average property value of $25,000 between non-LEED certified homes and LEED-certified homes, 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. And a 2020 survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that over 60% of realtor respondents noted that homebuyers have expressed interest in sustainability and eco-friendly houses; further, a majority of residential agents said that green elements including everything from energy-saving solar panels to water-saving landscaping irrigation systems to energy-efficient lighting and appliances to eco-friendly paints and flooring with no VOC emissions have increased homebuyers’ perceived property value of homes. As the demand for sustainable real estate booms, the transformation of the green real estate market also will continue to flourish.

If you are in the market for an eco-friendly home, understanding sustainable building and remodeling practices and materials will help you make the best choice for yourself and your family. Consulting a knowledgeable real estate agent can help. To view green homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex or surrounding area, reach out to WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Harrell Group. The experienced real estate specialists of the Harrell Group can help you navigate the local real estate market and guide you to homes with a focus on greater sustainable living. Contact WEICHERT, REALTORS® – The Harrell Group today to speak to a licensed real estate professional about your sustainable real estate needs.

Written by: Erika Mehlhaff