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New Australian Green Initiative Threatens Property Values

Australia’s federal government is considering introducing, possibly next year, mandatory energy star ratings for homes being sold or rented. Under the proposed system as currently envisaged, sellers and landlords would have to pay about $200 to have their property assessed, with a total cost to homeowners and property investors currently estimated at $1.1 billion over the decade if the program becomes law.

Housing experts said most large, vanity McMansion residences would score very poorly on the ratings system, The Courier-Mail reported.

Green Homes Australia, a private energy-ratings firm, director Mick Fabar said, "Through our experience with our rating tool, those two-storey McMansions would not get over zero."

A spokesman for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet commented, "It will allow buyers and renters to better compare different properties, making it easier to identify a property which uses less energy or water and thereby save money."
Federal Opposition's spokesman for climate action, environment and heritage, Greg Hunt dissented, saying that the program would create "enormous uncertainty. It could push up the cost of rent for people just when they are feeling cost-of-living pressures. It's another cost imposed on people from the Government."

The managing director of Stockland, one of Australia’s biggest developers, Matthew Quinn said the size of new homes has peaked and that affordability issues would hasten the end of the so-called McMansions and spur sales of smaller, more energy efficient homes.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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