Public awareness of “green” and “energy efficient” residential property: An empirical survey based on data from New Zealand


The purpose of this paper is to examine the buyer awareness and acceptance of environmental and energy efficiency measures in the New Zealand residential property markets. This study aims to provide a greater understanding of consumer behaviour in the residential property market in relation to green housing issues


The paper is based on an extensive survey of Christchurch real estate offices and was designed to gather data on the factors that were considered important by buyers in the residential property market. The survey was designed to allow these factors to be analysed on a socio‐economic basis and to compare buyer behaviour based on property values.


The results show that regardless of income levels, buyers still consider that the most important factor in the house purchase decision is the location of the property and price. Although the awareness of green housing issues and energy efficiency in housing is growing in the residential property market, it is only a major consideration for young and older buyers in the high income brackets and is only of some importance for all other buyer sectors of the residential property market. Many of the voluntary measures introduced by Governments to improve the energy efficiency of residential housing are still not considered important by buyers, indicating that a more mandatory approach may have to be undertaken to improve energy efficiency in the established housing market, as these measures are not valued by the buyer.


The paper confirms the variations in real estate buyer behaviour across the full range of residential property markets and the acceptance and awareness of green housing issues and measures. These results would be applicable to most established and transparent residential property markets.

Keywords:Residential property, Consumer behaviour, Energy management, Resource efficiency, Environmental management, New ZealandType:Research paperPublisher:Emerald Group Publishing LimitedCopyright:© Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2010

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