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SONIA TAYLOR APR 20, 2022

New research has found home owners are snapping up properties that include features to mitigate the effects of climate change.

US housing platform Zillow has revealed that buyers are seeking out and competing for more sustainable homes and those built to withstand natural disaster.

The report found that homes with electric vehicle charging stations and drought-resistant landscaping can sell up to 10 days faster than similar homes.

And properties that offer some protection from climate disasters and other natural hazards, such as hurricane shutters or stilts, have been found to help a home sell for more money.

While the data surveyed Americans, the realities of climate change and its impact on housing is front of mind for Australians, off the back of consecutive years of catastrophic bushfires and ‘once-in-a-generation’ floods.

Senior ex-ADF officers named climate change as Australia’s biggest threat and natural disasters now cost Australians $18.2 billion per year, but that price tag is expected to more than double to $39 billion by 2050 even without accounting for a change in climate, reports 9News.

The UN released a report stating that globally, wildfires are getting worse and that governments are unprepared. This places the onus on individuals to seek out the best possible options in their remit. A previous Zillow survey found nearly two-thirds of young adults believe climate change will impact their homes or communities in their lifetime.

Those generations are now ageing into their prime home-buying years, conscious of their ecological footprint and making purchase decisions based on their beliefs, values and principles.

Large shares of buyers seriously consider flooding (55 per cent), tornadoes (41 per cent), hurricanes (35 per cent) and earthquakes (29 per cent) when choosing a home.

The frequency of these severe weather events and other natural hazards is putting a price premium on homes that have features designed to protect against such disasters.

As a result, homes on stilts or piers, built to defend against flooding, can sell for 1.1 per cent more in the States.

Sustainability is also front of mind, with energy-saving features a big plus for home buyers as inflation skyrockets.

“Homes with listing descriptions that mention double-pane windows can sell a week faster than similar homes and for 1 per cent more than expected,” Zillow’s research states.

“Homes with solar panels can sell for 1.4 per cent more. Listings that tout programmable thermostats, smart sprinkler systems and smart lights can sell up to six days faster than expected.”

So if you want your home to sell quickly and for a premium, protect it from natural disaster and make it eco-friendly. Zillow’s research looked at environment-related features mentioned in listings for 3.1 million home sales across 2020 and 2021.

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