Is Sustainability the Key to Your Improving Your Home & Investment Return?

Sustainability is no longer a term for those in the know when it comes to housing. It’s widely spoken about and after the recent election results & pressures from rising living costs, environmental awareness is a key factor when it comes to people’s decision-making, with a staggering 90% of Australians connecting with the topic. When purchasing or selling properties the trend is following suit as the recent Sustainability Report from Domain concludes. People want more energy-efficient, climate-conscious homes, and they are willing to pay for them.

Australian houses produce around 13% of our country’s CO2 emissions, this is expected to escalate as the population grows to over 28 million by 2030, with an estimated need to produce an extra 126,000 dwellings each year to accommodate growth. From the Domain Report findings and the ever-increasing demand on our planet, sustainability isn’t a fleeting trend but a way of living better now and in the future.

Key Findings

Green Homes Are More Attractive

According to the report, sustainable homes bring more interest and sell quicker with an average of 8.7% more listing views for houses and 5.5% more views for units in 2022.

Other Energy Efficient Considerations & Benefits

  • Orientation matters – A south-facing home requires triple the energy for heating and cooling than a north-facing one.
  • Go Passive – Homes built and designed with passive house principles can save owners up to 80% on costs.
  • Increase Your Insulation – Roof and ceiling insulation can save up to 45% on heating and cooling. Wall insulation can save around 15% on heating and cooling.
  • Seal it Up – Sealing gaps around windows and doors can save 5-15% on heating and cooling.
  • Increase Your Stars – A house built with a 7-Star energy rating will save on average $450 per year on heating and cooling compared to a 6-Star energy rating.
  • It is the equivalent of taking one car off the road for a year for every new home built to 7 Stars compared to 6 Stars.

Read about other benefits in our Guide to Net-Zero Homes here.


Sustainability – A Style That’s Here to Stay

When it comes to design, increasingly we are seeing that the sustainability style is growing with many new developments and homes, which are cosy in the winter and cool in summer, incorporating a light-filled, natural, eco-friendly material base paired with craftsman-like elements.  Trends are moving away from glitzy, resource-demanding design, to chic, earthy, low-energy products made from local, organic, healthy, non-toxic materials, & have low or no VOC’s.


When Searching for a Green Home

With two-thirds of buyers preferring an energy-efficient home, they don’t always search for it directly. However, it is reflected in the supply of green homes with sellers including more sustainable keywords in their listings, rising from 49.7% in 2019 to 54.4% in 2022, and more buyers searching for words such as rainwater tanks, solar panel, north-facing, conservation, energy, orientation, shade, cross ventilation, insulation, and zoning – except for in 2021 when affordability was a key issue during the pandemic.

Domain’s Dr Nichola Powell concluded that “Sustainable features for many are a nice-to-have rather than a must-have when beginning a property search. This doesn’t mean buyers are not wanting more energy-efficient elements for their homes, particularly given research proves we have seen a conscious societal steer towards environmentally friendly outcomes. We believe it is due to a general lack of understanding of the short- and long-term benefits of sustainable features, market dynamics influencing search criteria and the compromises buyers are willing to make depending on the property cycle stage.”


sustainability statistics from the domain property report 

Paying a Premium – Sustainability Increases Your Investment Return

Domain’s recent Sustainability Report in Australia concluded that a return on investment for creating a sustainable, energy-efficient home, with low-emission features and design can be upwards of $125,000 more for houses and $72,750.00 for units.

This premium for sustainable houses and units commanding a higher median price was found across Australia. With most states had a better market performance with more listing views, and were also on the market for a shorter period of time.

Furthermore, many Australian banks & institutions are offering ‘green loans’, where borrowers looking to build, buy or renovate a property to improve its sustainability merits will be rewarded with lower rates. Some of the financiers offering a range of these programs are Bank Australia & Commbank.

Sustainability – Only for those that can afford it?

While sustainability is attracting price premiums and generating more interest. There is a gap in the market for first-home buyers or lower-income households when it comes to purchasing an affordable & sustainable home. These energy-efficient homes come with long-term cost savings but unfortunately, the upfront costs segregate those who cannot afford these extras.

Want to read more about the Domain Sustainability Report? Visit the link here or Get in touch if you would like to discuss incorporating energy-efficient features into your project.