REIQ said increasingly house hunters should include climate change in their list of due diligence checks, along with building and pest inspections, utility access and land boundary checks.
REIQ said increasingly house hunters should include climate change in their list of due diligence checks, along with building and pest inspections, utility access and land boundary checks. Kevin Farmer

The question home buyers should be asking

FORGET open plan kitchens or skylights - climate change resilience is more likely to be topping home buyers' check lists in the future.

According to the Real Estate Institute Queensland, house hunters should increasingly include climate change in their list of due diligence checks, along with building and pest inspections, utility access and land boundary checks.

"While ensuring your home is built to withstand the harsh Australian climate has always been important, in today's world, weather and environmental conditions are being more carefully considered," REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said. 

"With the government estimating increases in temperature, drought periods and bushfires, along with rising sea levels over the next few decades, home owners need to research whether or not these risk factors are relevant to the area in which they're looking to buy," she said.

Ms Mercorella suggests researching the history of the area in terms of natural disasters and weather events, and how those impacted homes.    

"Has there been any major flooding, fire or severe storms in the surrounding areas? What damage resulted from those events?

"It's also a good idea to see if there are any restrictions or exclusions on insurance, or higher-than-usual premiums.

 

Antonia Mercorella is the CEO of Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and shared her thoughts on the new real estate specific Property Occupation Act 2014 and its impact upon cutting red tape and safeguarding consumers.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said home buyers should consider the climate change risks of the properties that they are investing in. Contributed

Ms Mercorella said aspiring home owners should listen to the proactive climate change warnings from councils.

The warning from the real estate body comes nine months after residents from the tiny beachside towns of Carmila and Clairview successfully fought for a review of a controversial coastal planning scheme which marked their properties in the disaster path of climate change-related flooding.

More than a hundred residents of a 400 metre coastal strip at Carmila, and a 4km stretch in Clairview were rezoned 'limited development' in the council scheme, which has been designed to comply with a new portion of the State Planning Policy.

A key theme of the SPP was to make communities resilient against natural disasters and hazards brought on by climate change.

Ms Mercorella said these residents should be prepared to answer questions about the possible impacts of climate change from future buyers.

"They may even cite global warming or other weather risks as reason to reduce the sale price of your property," she said. 

Ms Mercorella said when it came to due diligence relating to climate change and weather, it was important to be alert not alarmed.  

"Make sure you receive your information from credible sources," she said.  

"Don't make decisions based on rumours or hearsay".