Investor survey: green buildings set to become separate asset class (EU)

Union Investment survey confirms growing interest in sustainable real estate investment in Europe.

A significant number of property investment projects will incorporate sustainability criteria in the future, greatly increasing the likelihood of a separate asset class for green buildings emerging over the next few years. That is one of the findings of a recent survey by Union Investment involving over 220 investment decision makers at property companies and institutional real estate investors in Europe. 63% of the real estate experts surveyed in Germany, France and the UK intend to invest "significantly more" in sustainable buildings in the future, while some 60% stated that sustainability criteria are already an established part of their investment strategy.

The survey, which was conducted by market research institute Ipsos in December 2009, also reveals investor dissatisfaction with the proliferation of certification systems in Europe: 57% of those surveyed are in favour of a standard European certificate for sustainable buildings, with the figure rising to 80% for French respondents. In Union Investment's view, a European solution would consolidate a trend that has been identified by many investors: Half of those surveyed believe that new buildings incorporating ecological and sociocultural criteria have the potential to form a separate asset class in the future.

Source: Union Investment

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