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Economic significance of sustainability increases considerably for investors and tenants

Sustainability has grown in significance considerably with regard to decisions on transactions over the past twelve months. The 'Sustainability Briefing', which investigated the significance of sustainability for investors and users, and which is now being published by the international real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), comes to this clear conclusion. To do this, decision makers from 28 of the most important European property investors were surveyed.

Just 40% of respondents stated that they had implemented a comprehensive sustainability policy in 2011, but this has more than doubled in 2012 with 96%. "Value appreciation, value retention, cost reductions and avoiding vacancies are the essential factors that have increasingly moved sustainability into the focus of investors," explains Jens Böhnlein, who heads project management for C&W in Germany. "In addition to marketing instruments and quality standards, sustainability has advanced to the point today where nobody wishes to discount it any longer." 

Accordingly, 90% of investors and fund managers stated that they evaluate and take into consideration a property's sustainability factors when making acquisitions. More than three quarters no longer wish to ignore this and even decide against a property if it fails to meet their sustainability criteria. Even if the risk of a lack of sustainability has been difficult to quantify up until now, almost all investors and fund managers fear that poor sustainability or a lack of it will have a negative effect on the value of a property. "Even just three years ago, investors in Germany were rather indifferent when it came to issues of sustainability when making their purchasing decisions," comments Jens Böhnlein, "but, according to our observations, this has seen a complete U-turn."

Sustainable properties have marketing advantage

81% of the respondents stated that property users demanded the implementation of sustainable concepts. "Above all, we are noticing an increasing desire amongst international companies to rent certified properties; in particular, when it comes to high-quality properties. In addition to sustainability, many users also combine a certification with a certificate of quality," explains Dennis Stern, who heads the Frankfurt office rental department at C&W. "In this respect, sustainable properties have a marketing advantage over those that are not certified."