Are sustainable homes now in vogue in Asia?

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Many of us assume that sustainable living is not a high priority for house-hunters in Asia. But according to new research, we may have assumed wrong.

New data shows that a fundamental shift is occurring in attitudes to sustainable housing in the emerging markets, including Asia. In countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Myanmar, people are increasingly taking into account green factors like energy efficiency and water conservation when deciding what kind of property to buy, and even where to buy it.

Global property portal Lamudi this week released new research into attitudes towards sustainability and green living, with some surprising results. Based on an analysis of more than half a million property listings from Lamudi’s global network, Pakistan emerged as the leading country for green homes and sustainable office space.

With more than 16,700 property listings that have one or more eco-friendly feature, Lamudi.pk has seen a dramatic increase in the number of environmentally-friendly homes listed on its website over the past six months. Lamudi’s Pakistan branch has recently crossed 100,000 active property listings – almost 17% of which are fully or partially eco-friendly.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the number of eco-homes on the Lamudi website has increased by 420% in the last six months, in line with increasing local demand for sustainable housing. With over 7000 eco-friendly listings, house-hunters in Bangladesh have more choice than ever when it comes to sustainable living.

Myanmar has also seen an increase in the number of sustainable houses on the market locally, with House.com.mm now listing 2700 eco-friendly homes. Other countries dominating in the supply of fully or partially sustainable homes include Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka, the research found.

Lamudi’s research is not the first to highlight the shift towards sustainable housing in the region. The most recent World Green Building Trends report from renowned industry intelligence company McGraw Hill revealed the extent to which green building is growing across the globe. Fifty-one per cent of the architects, engineers, contractors and consultants surveyed for the report said more than 60 percent of their work would be green by 2015. In the 2012 study, only 28% of industry experts held this view.

The report also revealed that the most substantial increases in green construction activity were expected to occur in the emerging markets – with these regions more than doubling their green building activity by 2015. Currently, the average construction rate for green housing in South Asia is higher than the global average.

This growing appetite for living green could not have come at a better time. Asia is the fastest-growing region in the world, but with this rapid industrialisation comes a need for greater care in terms of energy conservation and environmental protection. With the fast-paced economic development now underway in the region, it is just a matter of time before some countries start to outpace the developed world in terms of the supply of sustainable homes.

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This post is an exclusive contribution by the author, Paul Philipp Hermann.

Paul Philipp Hermann is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Lamudi, the leading real estate marketplace for the emerging markets. Visit their official website, www.lamudi.com.

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