sustainable homes

Opening Remarks NAR's Sustainability Summit New Orleans

Opening Remarks NAR's Sustainability Summit New Orleans

“In the United States, the cost for protecting people and property from rising seas and intense downpours is expected to climb into the hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades — and that’s a conservative estimate”

My Predictions for 2018

Good news:

)      Long-term investors- including banks, GSEs, and insurance companies- take a serious look at the impact of climate change on their bottom line

2)      The high-performance home market continues to gain traction, particularly in the new construction market

3)      Consumer demand for sustainable products continues to rise

4)      Backlash against climate-change deniers increases

5)      Science/data makes a comeback

6)      The National Association of REALTORS® makes major advances at the intersection of sustainability and real estate

7)      Inman makes sustainability a key talking point

Bad news:

1)      Stock market experiences a correction

2)     Interest rates rise

3)     Affordability remains a major concern in the real estate industry

What the stats tell us...

I have been studying the emerging high-performance home market for several years. The numbers have been impressive. In Massachusetts we have seen an explosive growth of solar panels on homeowners rooftops in the last few years. The states largest multiple listing service has an impressive array of green data fields that real estate agents can use to market homes that have HERS Index Scores or green certifications like LEED. Data around consumer demand for homes that are more energy efficient and healthier to live in and how the real estate industry may or may not be supporting demand is evident.

I have also spent time in my advocacy work to talk about the opportunity the real estate industry has to be part of a solution for the energy and environmental challenges that we face. In the U.S. almost 40% of total energy consumption can be attributed to the buildings that we live and work in; in Massachusetts the number is higher - 50%. The inevitability of a deeper intersection between the real estate and energy industries is very clear to me.

This blog will explore both the opportunities and the challenges the real estate industry faces in supporting market transformation of buildings that are more energy efficient and healthier to live in...

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