Real Estate Listings Are Going Green: 5 Eco-Friendly Sales Features on the Rise Right Now

Remember when you used to rubberneck at the sight of solar panels on someone’s roof, or wonder why your neighbors ditched their lush green lawn in favor of xeriscaping?

Today, eco-friendly home features are becoming commonplace as we all work in small ways to combat the effects of climate change and cut down the costs of our utility bills.

This earth-forward trend is even showing up in the tactics we use to sell our homes: Over the past six years, the share of® listing descriptions mentioning various eco-friendly terms—e.g., “energy efficient,” “zero energy,” “solar panels”—has risen at a slow but steady pace.

The share of listings with environmentally-friendly descriptions


According to our research, the growth of green-friendly listings over this time frame has practically doubled. In 2018, there were 76,335 listings with prominent eco terms in the language, but by 2023, that number had jumped to 150,388.

Homes that tout “energy-efficienct” in their listing language have just about tripled, from 10,756 in 2018 to a whopping 29,288 just five years later.

A sampling of eco-friendly terms mentioned in real estate listings today


Even those less-than-sexy rows of solar panels that were once considered anomalies are finding more fans, according to our data.

In 2018, nearly 25,000 home listings were advertising these ray-catchers, while last year that figure rose to almost 51,000.

Why eco-friendly listings are on the rise

“The rise in eco-friendly home listings mirrors trends we’ve seen in specific categories, such as for EV-friendly homes, called out in the team’s deep dive on the most EV-friendly housing markets,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “The data suggest that consumer tastes and preferences are leaning in an earth-friendly direction, and sellers are positioning their properties to meet those new and growing demands.”

Some homeowners are driven to save not just the environment, but also some cash—in the form of government kickbacks for adding eco-forward features to their homes.

“It’s worth noting that there are both carrots and sticks nudging homeowners to adopt more eco-friendly features,” Hale continues. “The Inflation Reduction Act included at least two provisions to rebate households for making electric and energy-efficient improvements, and there are many other state and local area incentives.”

Ways to go green at home

While not every homeowner can build a passive house from scratch, there are many ways to make a home more eco-friendly.

Better quality roofing is one avenue to try as this material reflects the sun’s heat, according to RJ D’Angelo, owner of JWE Remodeling & Roofing. Redoing your home’s insulation or upgrading your appliances to more efficient, greener brands (like Energy Star) are two other ways to go.

Many new-construction homes incorporate earth-friendly features from the ground up.

“I’m mostly seeing these amenities in new construction, especially as it relates to insulation, encapsulation in crawl spaces, and the way HVAC systems are engineered—and I do think it creates resale value,” says Jessica Grier, a real estate broker with Premier Sotheby’s International in Charlotte, NC.

Curious to learn more about green home features you could buy in a home? Here are some other eco-friendly terms that are gaining traction.

Electric vehicle chargers

This new-construction home for sale in Berkeley, CA, for $889,000 includes a conduit for installing an EV charger.


Electric vehicles are starting to flood the market—so it makes perfect sense that home listings will include the terms “EV charging” and “EV charger” in their language. These two phrases shot up from 212 and 139 in 2018 to 1,174 and 1,058 respectively in 2023.

And lately, there’s help with the costs. Government policies, like rebate programs, are in place to help motivate folks to consider buying an EV, which means charging stations at home should continue to burgeon.

Passive houses

This home listed for $3,895,000 is billed as “LA’s first passive/net zero home.”


passive house is one that meets a certain standard of energy efficiency created by the International Passive House Association that combines strong insulation with specially coated windows. The result is a home that prevents warm air from escaping your rooms and blocks cold breezes that might waft in from the outside.

Since this type of construction is still rare, it makes sense that very few are up for sale. Currently, there are 86 on the market, up from 57 six years earlier. This tracks appropriately since there are only 250 certified passive buildings in this country.


This home for sale in Oro Valley, AZ, for $675,000 has been designed with water-efficient xeriscaping.


Xeriscaping—which involves replacing lush green lawns with native plants that don’t need much watering—might still be uncommon, but it’s growing in popularity as a real estate sales feature, with 721 mentions in listings in 2023 compared with 513 in 2018.

According to Patrick Barrett, enhancements lead at FormLA Landscaping, this gardening approach does use less water, but since fire is a risk in some areas, it’s important to include hydrated foliage and smart irrigation too.

Tankless water heater

This home for sale in Woodstock, NY, for $595,000 includes a tankless water heater.


Upfront expenses are definitely higher for energy-saving tankless water heaters, but they’ll save you money down the road in hot water costs. The term “tankless water heater” has also taken off in listings data, nearly doubling from 35,000 mentions in 2018 to 57,400 last year.

Edible gardens

This massive property in Raleigh, NC, listed for $8,600,000 boasts a fenced vegetable garden.


The “edible garden” trend peaked in 2020 when 322 listings nationwide mentioned them as a sales point. (Remember all those COVID-19 pandemic victory gardens?) And although they’ve dipped to just 246 mentions in 2023, that’s still a respectable amount of farm-to-table action out there that many homeowners will see as a plus not just for the earth, but also come dinnertime.

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