Improving information gathering and distribution on sustainability features in the Australian residential property market
Abstract Asymmetric information distribution from sellers to buyers in the residential property market disadvantages buyers, as buyers may not have complete information particularly related to sustainability features (that contribute to occupant health, safety and amenity, over time), which could potentially reduce operational costs associated with the property. Property practitioners including real estate agents, property valuers and mortgage brokers who have direct connection with buyers could possibly help to bridge this information gap. Through 28 semi-structured interviews, this study examines the perspectives of Australian property practitioners regarding the challenges they face in collecting information and strategies for distributing the information. The results show that the main concerns of property practitioners are the lack of data on the economic benefits of sustainability features and the lack of resources with which to gather such information. A framework that includes collaboration between government, supply chain agents, property practitioners, third-party real estate data collectors, researchers, and buyers, is proposed, for better information gathering and distribution. This could potentially reduce asymmetric information, particularly as related to sustainability features for potential buyers and hence enhance market efficiency. Highlights Property practitioners impact on the information home buyers receive about sustainability features. Property practitioners differ in where they source this information. Property practitioners face challenges in collecting information about sustainability features. An information delivery framework involving property practitioners could help to deliver more comprehensive information. Regulations should foster uptake of sustainability by property practitioners by making more housing information available.
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