Sustainability is an increasing concern for many Kiwi’s and is starting to be more front of mind for those in the property market. For current (and prospective) homeowners, being more sustainable means reducing their carbon footprint throughout the building lifecycle including building and construction; living in the home day-to-day; and during renovation and deconstruction.
Many homeowners don’t have the luxury (or the pain!!!) of building new, so need to consider improvements of their existing property. A few ideas include:
- Investing in solar: The cost of getting solar is getting cheaper and more efficient and the demand for daytime power usage (e.g. working from home) is increasing. This has resulted in demand for solar power increasing significantly to not only reduce the cost of monthly energy bills, but also to improve the value of your home. Homes.co.nz provides a Solar Estimate to help you understand how much you could save each month.
- Healthy home improvements: These outline some minimal standards for things like heating, insulation, and ventilation and are required by law for any tenanted properties. All of these not only provide a healthier home, but also result in a home that is more efficient with reduced energy costs. Although only required for rental properties, these provide a great framework for owner occupiers too.
- Double Glazing: A requirement for new builds, double glazing reduces heat loss through windows which also makes a home more efficient to heat. However double glazing can be expensive, so make sure your house is insulated appropriately first and other options like curtains can perform a similar function.
We also suggest hunting around for any financial support that may exist to make these improvements. EECA offers grants promoting warmer, dryer and healthier homes and some banks may provide mortgage top up options for healthy home improvements.
All of the above are a good start, but are only a band-aid for our ageing housing stock. Building new provides the opportunity to adopt more sustainable building practices. One example of an organisation challenging the way New Zealand builds houses is Flexi.House. Flexi.House incorporates sustainable practices into every part of the building process including the use of renewable materials, and adopting a reusable componentry system that ensures the property can be easily extended and materials recycled during deconstruction.
Andre Heller, Founder and CEO at Flexi.House says “New Zealand is in dire need of more efficient and sustainable ways of building houses. Not only from faster methods of construction, but the impact that we have on the planet. At Flexi we are developing a housing system that will actually enable a homeowner to design their own house from a kit of parts whilst being able to trust that the building is energy efficient, sustainable and considers the future use of the home. Flexi.House has the unique ability to grow by adding or removing rooms when necessary.”
What is most exciting about these practices is Flexi.House expects to provide a “real home” that is carbon negative, and aspires to redefine housing for the future.
Monthly Property Update
The homes.co.nz Monthly Property Update is generated using homes.co.nz’s May 2022 HomesEstimates, providing an up-to-date perspective on house values around New Zealand.
Trends in our Main Cities
The HomesEstimates in our main centres have plateaued following decreases in the last couple of months. With many areas becoming a buyers’ market, there is more time for buyers to shop around for a home. This does not necessarily translate into an immediate drop in prices as vendors keep their properties on the market longer while they push for the best price. But, unlike for the last couple of years, the pressures are certainly in favour of price softening for the coming months.
How do we calculate these figures?
The homes.co.nz Monthly Property Update is generated using homes.co.nz’s monthly HomesEstimates and provides an up-to-date perspective on house values around New Zealand. By valuing the entire housing stock, the homes.co.nz Monthly Property Update can compare median values from month to month in a consistent and reliable way. Our HomesEstimates are calculated for almost every home in New Zealand by an algorithm that identifies the relationships between sales prices and the features of a property.
Established in 2013, homes.co.nz is NZ’s first free property information portal eager to share free property information to New Zealanders.
NZ’s First Home Buyer HomesEstimate
The “First Home Buyer HomesEstimate” is homes.co.nz’s estimate of what a typical first home may cost. It is calculated to be the lower quartile HomesEstimate in a town.