What house buyers value the most

AMANDA BEST
Last updated 07:16 28/06/2012

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Residential Property

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Real estate officials say house- hunters are looking to buy energy- efficient homes, and are willing to pay more for them.

A survey by listings website realestate.co.nz shows top priorities for homebuyers are orientation to the sun and good insulation.

Of the 1200 buyers surveyed, almost half said high levels of insulation were "very important" - more important than features such as off-street parking, open- plan living and attractive kitchens.

Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said buyers were much more aware of the value of factors such as insulation and orientation to the sun than they were in the past.

"It's a quality factor that will have a say in prices."

But Home Owners and Buyers Association president John Gray disagreed with the survey's findings.

"People pay lip service to it, but they aren't that interested."

Owners who spent time and money making homes eco-friendly did not get a return on that when selling, he said.

Realestate.co.nz recently partnered with the Green Building Council's Homestar rating system, which rates how environmentally friendly a residential property is.

The survey also asked respondents who were selling or had recently sold their homes what features they thought would contribute to a premium price.

Good insulation was the top factor for most, and almost 90 per cent said environmental factors such as efficient energy, water and heating could contribute to a property fetching a higher price.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority said 150,000 homes had been insulated as part of the Warm Up New Zealand programme.

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- The Dominion Post

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