A breakthrough study will uncover the ESG and sustainability factors that are critical for the property industry and how they influence decision-making for tenants and landlords. 

This year, APREF (Australian Property Research and Education Fund) awarded a 2023 APREF Research Grant to University of Melbourne Associate Professor Georgia Warren-Myers for her Quantifying the value of ESG and the future of real estate valuation research project. 

ESG and sustainability have become increasingly important in Australia and around the world due to net zero commitments by governments, industries, organisations and companies. 

The research intends to provide valuers and the broader property industry with a better understanding of current ESG and sustainability characteristics in real estate that are being prioritised by occupiers and owners.

It will also explore whether valuers’ current approaches in valuation are considering and reflecting the current market sentiment in relation to ESG and sustainability in real estate assets.   

“At present there are a plethora of characteristics and rating tools, however, what is not known is what are the core ESG and sustainability characteristics of interest, priority and value to market actors and stakeholders in Australia,” according to Warren-Myers.  

“Are valuers’ aware of these, and are they reflecting market sentiment in regard to ESG and sustainability in their valuations. 

“Understanding which ESG and sustainability characteristics in real estate are commanding priority, their influence on decision-making and value are imperative in assisting in the transformational change required to meet emission targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.  

“It is necessary that valuers’ are accurately reflecting the changing market sentiment for ESG and sustainability in market valuations of real estate. 

“ESG and sustainability consideration in real estate is vitally important to assist in contributing to reducing emissions and creating safe and healthy environments for communities to live and work in.” 

APREF also awarded a 2023 Research Grant to the Future Workforce for the Property Industry – Are We Ready for the Change? project – a first-of-its-kind study examining the future workforce for the property industry post-pandemic. 

Launched in 2020, the APREF Research Grants have supported academic research into Australia’s property industry and the future of the valuation profession.  

Grant winners must explore topics critical to the country’s property industry, including the property workforce, affordable housing, sustainability and impacts from the pandemic.  

APREF is a charitable arm of the Australian Property Institute (API), created to empower research, and advance education, in the property sector.