Greening the property market: why more vendors advertised sustainable features in 2023
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Greening the property market: why more vendors advertised sustainable features in 2023

The states and the suburbs with the highest number of environmentally friendly properties for sale are not where you think

By Bronwyn Allen
Tue, Jan 2, 2024 10:08amGrey Clock 2 min

Just under 15 percent of homes for sale in FY23 were ‘green listings’, new research reveals.

Green listings, which are defined as having at least one environmentally-friendly feature providing energy or water savings, such as solar panels, a home battery and rainwater tanks made up 101,479 of the 687,874 homes that went onto the market in FY23, Australia’s largest real estate network, Ray White, reports.

Queensland had the highest proportion of green listings overall in FY23 at 20.3 percent. This compares to 19.6 percent in the Northern Territory, 19.5 percent in South Australia, 16.1 percent in the ACT, 15.7 percent in Western Australia, 11.6 percent in Tasmania and 11.4 percent in both New South Wales and Victoria. The number of green listings advertised has been growing over the past three years as homeowners think more about their carbon footprint and embrace sustainability. The number of listings with one or two green features has risen from 17.2 percent of listings in 2020 to 19.5 percent in 2023, according to Ray White.

Skyrocketing electricity prices and the availability of government incentives to encourage homeowners to invest in eco-friendly features are no doubt contributing to higher interest in green homes. A growing uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) is also leading to more homeowners installing EV chargers in their garages. The Electric Vehicles Council of Australia reports that the number of sales of EVs in the first half of 2023 exceeded the total number sold in 2022.

Buyers’ interest in green features is prompting more agents to include such details in the advertising copy for homes for sale, said Ray White data analyst, William Clark. Over the last three years, there has been an increasing proportion of listings with ‘solar panels’, ‘battery’ or ‘off-grid’ appearing in advertising copy,” he said. This is not an exhaustive list of ways a house can be green, however solar panels were the most frequently advertised, while batteries and being off-grid make a house green to the greatest degree.”

In New South Wales and Victoria, the suburbs with the highest percentage of green listings were all in regional areas. In other states and territories, there was a broader mix across regional and capital city suburbs. Clark said green properties were more commonly houses on large blocks of land. “With regional areas having a higher proportion of houses rather than units, single-family dwellings may retrofit green features such as solar panels and battery packs quicker and more autonomously than units and complexes with large strata groups. This means states, cities and suburbs with more houses and fewer units will see a higher proportion of green listings.

Here are the suburbs with the highest percentage of green listings advertised in FY23.

Top suburbs for green listings

1. Mount Mee, Moreton Bay region of QLD, 92.3%
2. Battery Point, Hobart, TAS, 90.9%
3. Riverbend, Logan City, QLD, 85.7%
4. Sandy Creek, Somerset region of QLD, 85.7%
5. Eerwah Vale, Sunshine Coast of QLD, 84.6%
6. Jiggi, Northern Rivers region of NSW, 84.6%
7. Wamboin, Southern Tablelands of NSW, 84%
8. Wallalong, Port Stephens in NSW, 81.3%
9. Echunga, Adelaide Hills, SA, 76.9%
10. Gnangara, Perth, WA, 76.5%

Source: Ray White, suburbs with at least 10 listings advertised in FY23

The greening of Australian homes is being helped along by regulation, with a new law in Victoria banning gas connections in newly built properties coming into effect yesterday. The ACT was the first state or territory to introduce such a law, which came into effect there in December.



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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

By ELAINE YU
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 3 min

Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.

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