Go eco and watch your house soar in value
SOARING electricity prices have changed the way property seekers look at homes.
New research showed properties with sustainable features such as solar panels, battery packs and rainwater tanks have been selling faster and at higher prices than homes without the eco-friendly features.
The typical difference in sales price was 10 per cent higher, while the sustainable homes also took about 13 days quicker to sell, according to the study by property group PRDnationwide.
PRD nationwide national research manager Diaswati Mardiasmo said sustainable buildings were outperforming more traditional housing in a number of categories.
"When people are aware of the savings sustainable homes have, it is easier for them to decide if they want a house, particularly when they know the benefits they bring or not having to worry about the cost of installing them later," Dr Mardiasmo said.
Part of the appeal of a home with sustainable features was the potential utility bill savings and the promise of lower maintenance costs over time, Dr Mardiasmo added.
"Things like solar panels add value to a home," she said.
"People realise that they can save money on energy bills or electricity, which is alluring when bills keep going up, so people think 'if I have to pay more now I will come out on top in the long run'."
Additional research from comparison site Finder.com.au reported that 33 per cent of buyers would pay more for a property with solar panels.
Solar panels were the fourth most sought after feature, according to the research, with only airconditioning, a garage and a backyard more desired.
Development company Metricon has also reported an uptake in customers trying to beat the rising costs of running a home.
Metricon Homes NSW general manager Luke Fryer said the majority of buyers who were building their homes wanted to install sustainable features that would help them manage their living costs down the line.
"Since October last year over 70 per cent of our Designer and Signature by Metricon customers have chosen to build smart technology into their homes," Mr Fryer said.
Metricon has partnered with a number of smart energy suppliers.
Products it has introduced into new builds have included the Bradford ChargePack, which comes with solar panels. The Tesla Powerwall has also proved popular with its clients as it allows homeowners to store power for later use.
Bradford Energy business manager Ashleigh O'Brien said part of the increased uptake in sustainable technologies was due to the costs going down. Solar panels and batteries, in particular, were now more affordable than they were the past, she said.
"It used to take eight or nine years before you would see any return on your investment. Nowadays it is only three to four years," Ms O'Brien said.
By combining solar panels and a battery such as the Tesla Powerwall, Ms O'Brien said bills became almost non-existent.
"We find that people have (more) peace of mind with a battery and solar panels, particularly as 80 to 90 per cent of their energy bills are offset by the sun, meaning they pay very little on power," she said.
Ms O'Brien said the technologies were allowing families to be eco savvy while not worrying about their quarterly power bill.
"Families can look at their smart app and it shows them how much energy they're using and how much they have left on their battery," Ms O'Brien said. "This allows them to use the airconditioner or dryer without bill shock or worrying about the cost down the track."
With the cost of batteries coming down, Ms O'Brien said it made sense for families to have them installed alongside solar panels.
"When families aren't at home during the day, the battery allows them to store (energy) and use it when they (return)," she said.