Housing and energy efficiency: What do real estate agent advertisements tell us?

Publisher:
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, 2015, pp. np - np
Issue Date:
2015-07-10
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This research examines the appearance of energy efficient words and phrases in real estate agent advertisements in Melbourne Australia and, whether there is a correlation between the use of such lexis and the demographic profiles of various geographic locations. Energy efficient housing has been the subject of research over the last 20 years and is being largely driven by climate change. Newly constructed homes in Australia are required to meet minimum energy efficiency performance standards however; there remains no requirement to uplift the energy performance of existing buildings. Given that 87% of the stock we will have in 2050 is already built (Kelly 2008) there is a clear need to upgrade and adapt existing buildings in terms of energy efficiency (Wilkinson 2014). The current Australian government appears to be embracing a neo-liberal philosophy with the absence of any direct market centred policies allowing market forces to drive change (IEA 2014) However public reaction to this market driven strategy appears to be lagging and many people, when choosing an established home to purchase, seem not to be cognisant or interested in energy efficiency as a criteria when making purchase decisions (Eves and Bryant, 2012). Although limited in volume contemporary research suggests that purchasers of housing are more likely to consider energy efficient and sustainable characteristics in a house if they are more affluent and educated (Eves and Kipps 2010; Zhang 2010). This research examines the appearance of energy efficient words and phrases in real estate agent advertisements in Melbourne Australia and, whether there is a correlation between the use of such lexis and the demographic profiles of various geographic locations. The researchers examined sales data from 91,331 real estate agent advertisements of residential transactions dating from 2008 to 2013. It was found that a limited number of advertisements mentioned energy efficiency and sustainability measures and that these are more likely to appear in areas of higher median priced housing.
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