Rental price and sustainability ratings: which sustainability criteria are really paying back?
Journal article, 2013
Given the centrality of the price mechanism to resource allocation in market economies, the effect of sustainable construction on real estate prices has become an increasingly important empirical issue for market participants and policy makers in the real estate sector. Drawing upon a sample of approximately 2500 residential building units in Switzerland, this study assesses the effects of buildings’ sustainability on their rental prices. In contrast to the vast majority of previous studies that have focused on the price effects of eco-labels, this study investigates the effects of individual sustainability attributes. Overall, we find a positive relationship between the environmental performance of residential buildings and their rental levels. Sustainable building characteristics, especially those which enhance the water efficiency, the health and comfort level and the building’s safety and security, have significant positive price effects. It is argued that the unexpected negative relationship between energy performance and rental prices is attributed to the bundling of energy costs and rents in Swiss lease structures.