Recent research suggests Western Australians are becoming increasingly keen to buy green when it comes to apartments, with sustainability regularly considered alongside price and location.
A survey undertaken by the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, examining whether people in Perth are likely to buy into green developments highlighted that the usual criteria of affordability, location and size are now joined by the need for ‘sustainability characteristics’.i
Research fellow from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) Jemma Green, who conducted the survey, said research indicated developments that include sustainability features attract more buyers.
“There’s a lot of supply in the market and consumers are tired of the same old, same old. We’ve seen that the developers providing a product that offer more in terms of sustainability better match consumer demand and the sustainable product is viewed as a premium product and more desirable,” Ms Green said.
One consumer buying green is social worker Jenny Marsh, who recently purchased a one-bedroom apartment off the plan at Evermore WGV, a Yolk Property Group development in White Gum Valley that will deliver 24 highly sustainable apartments powered by cutting-edge solar photovoltaics and lithium battery technology (allowing the solar to be stored and shared among residents via a governance system developed by CUSP).
“I do as much as I can to reduce my carbon footprint, from recycling water with buckets in the shower to riding my bike everywhere I can to drive less and I wanted to buy an apartment that was developed with sustainability in mind,” Ms Marsh said.
“The aim to be zero-carbon and the use of the shared solar technology interested me, there’s a commitment to sustainability rather than it being an afterthought,” she said.
Ms Green said in a soft market or in tough economic times buyers like Ms Marsh become even more savvy and discerning.
“We’ve seen that consumers don’t want to buy a product that suits the developer and not themselves, they are looking for livability as well as sustainability and they are willing to pay for it,” Ms Green said.
More than half of the 24 apartments on offer at Evermore WGV have been sold since launching in July 2016 and Co-Director of Yolk Property Group Pete Adams said purchaser interest remains strong.
“We’ve had quite a bit of feedback from buyers that the transparent and tangible sustainability initiatives attracted them to the development, they could see it was not simply ‘marketing fluff’,” Mr Adams said.
The solar PV lithium battery technology utilized at Evermore WGV is forecast to produce approximately 80 per cent of the apartments’ required power (with strata fees injected into a strata body sinking fund to pay for any upkeep or upgrades to the technology) allowing residents to benefit from a saving on their electricity bills.
“Buyers feel good about investing in a sustainable development – it appeals to their environmental conscience, and of course it helps that there is the added incentive of lower power bills.” he said.
The Bioregional One Planet Living framework is being implemented at Evermore WGV to guide development and aid in a holistic and long-term approach to sustainability. In addition to the solar PV lithium technology and shared solar governance system at Evermore WGV, other initiatives include: real-time measurement and recording of water and power consumption to ensure maximum energy-efficiency; site-wide bore water system to reduce potable water and use in landscape irrigation; electric vehicle charging point; compost tumblers, worm farm and vegie planters; bicycle repair station, and communal bicycles for resident’s use.
Evermore WGV will play a role in a pilot program led by Curtin University at the WGV estate, examining how to increase the uptake of solar photovoltaics in strata residential developments.
Construction at Evermore WGV is expected to commence early 2017 and conclude early 2018. Of the 24 apartments, there will be 12 x one-bedroom, 8 x two-bedroom and 4 x three-bedroom. Prices start from $349,000 and can be purchased off the plan from today by calling the Evermore WGV Sales Agent Sarah Brolsma on 0407 939 931. For more information visit: www.evermorewgv.com.au.
Yolk Property Group has partnered with Curtin University, LandCorp, Solar Balance, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Low Carbon Living Cooperative Research Centre and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (CSIRO) to deliver Evermore WGV, with ARENA providing a $280,000 grant to aid Yolk Property Group deliver the project.