Does your home have the ‘sustainability’ factor

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A HOME’S sustainability characteristics should be considered within property valuations, according to a new information paper launched by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).

The issue of sustainability is not currently viewed as important to property market value. However, this is changing and RICS is suggesting that, should a home possess sustainability features which are likely to have an impact on value, this should be reflected in a valuer’s assessment of the property.

Sustainability features can include a home’s energy efficiency rating, the materials used in its construction and other features such as an energy-efficient boiler. Although, elements such as a building’s proximity to public transport links and its ability to adapt to occupiers’ changing future needs could also be considered.

Ray Smith, RICS East of England spokesperson, said: “When calculating a property’s worth, the market doesn’t always take the issue of sustainability into account, but this could also have been said for central heating way back in the 1970s when people weren’t convinced it was going to have a market impact.

“With the increased emphasis on green living and energy efficiency, it is highly possible that the market will need to adapt. This new information paper offers advice to our members, recommending that they are fully aware of sustainability policy and the characteristics of individual buildings when valuing property.

“Although market awareness of sustainability has risen significantly, attention is currently focused largely on a home’s energy efficiency, propensity to flood and carbon emissions. However, a property’s sustainable status can cover a range of social, environmental and economic matters that can potentially lead to changes in demand and therefore affect value.”