Why Does Air Quality Matter for Real Estate?

When talking to real estate agents, almost every single one of them will tell you that location is what sells any property. From the viewpoint of potential buyers, this usually means the proximity of good schools, parks or shopping malls. They will consider the crime rate of the neighborhood, the general population that surrounds them and the time it takes for them to get to work from their new home. However, the term ‘location’ covers more than the mere physical distance between a property and various establishments. One particular thing that home buyers are becoming increasingly aware of and curious about is the air quality around the property they want to buy. Here are some of the reasons air quality is important for your health and how that affects the real estate business.

Air quality and health

The impact air pollution can have on your health is a significant one. Even those who are completely healthy can experience different health issues when breathing polluted air, even if it’s only for a short while. The possible include coughing, irritation of nose, throat and eyes, shortness of breath and even chest tightness. Furthermore, short-term exposure to different types of air pollution can lead to a bigger risk of a respiratory infection, acute bronchitis and asthma attacks, while in people who already suffer from heart disease, it can cause arrhythmias or, in some cases, heart attacks. On the other hand, if you’re exposed to polluted air over a longer period of time, you can develop such health problems as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, damage of the respiratory system cells, as well as increased pressure on your lungs and heart while they struggle to supply your body with the oxygen it needs. And although all of these sound horrible enough, they’re only the immediate health issues. When it comes to permanent damage to your health caused by air pollution, it’s important to mention a shorter life span, a decrease in lung capacity, but also diseases like bronchitis, asthma and even lung cancer. And what’s most disturbing about air pollution is that it’s children under 14, pregnant women, the elderly and people with preexisting illnesses who are most vulnerable. Other than them, air pollution can also cause a lot of harm to the health of athletes who exercise regularly and intensely outdoors.

Air quality and property value

The situation here is a simple one. A good location can get you a better price for a property you’re selling. And since a good location also means that the air quality there is good and possibly regulated by law, it’s logical that it can be used as an asset for those who work in real estate. To phrase it in simple words, the cleaner the air, the higher the price of properties in the area. Some of the most common pollutants are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, VOCs, ozone, Sulphur dioxide and various particles from road traffic, factories, etc. If the concentration of these compounds, gases and particles in the air is higher than normal, the air is considered polluted. In case you’re buying a property and want to be sure that the air around it is clean, you can get information on air pollution online for most parts of the world. Another thing you should consider when investing in a property is indoor air quality, which is now also quite easy to determine, since you can get a professional air quality check with only a phone call or an email. This especially applies to buildings which host businesses, and where there are employees who could be exposed to polluted air.

Air quality and the conversion of land

When talking about the effect of air quality on property prices, it’s also interesting to note that this relationship can work both ways. Not only can clean air boost the price of a property, but the prices of certain properties can also influence air quality, especially in more developed areas. In the past, it was a common phenomenon that green areas, farms and even forests were turned into residential and business properties. It was as easy as pouring concrete over them and repurposing them for profit. And although there are still those who are ready to violate the environment further to make money, the trends are now changing and we can see that, in certain areas, industrial land is being transformed to residential, with special attention paid to creating urban green spaces. By pulling industrial companies out of the city areas, especially those which are more densely populated, the environment gains in quality and the prices of properties can skyrocket. This is in accordance with the new property-related demands. Modern property buyers aren’t only looking for a roof over their head. They want a place where they can start a family or a business, while staying eco-friendly and maintaining a certain lifestyle. And if well-being and a healthy environment are important to the buyers, then we can expect greener urban planning and more sustainable development to keep up with what they are ready to invest in.

As we witness a shift in the environmental awareness in property buyers, it’s not unreasonable to expect the real estate developers to be more motivated when it comes to preserving the environment, including air quality. After all, if trees, parks and clean lakes mean profit, then it’s in everybody’s interest to ensure that they aren’t destroyed, damaged or polluted in any way.

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