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Homestar™ unveils first Certified Homes

MEDIA RELEASE

Homestar™ unveils first Certified Homes

Real estate group supports rating tool for improving property values


AUCKLAND, 7 July 2011 – The first certified homes assessed under the Homestar™ residential rating tool were unveiled today at an event supported by online property market portal Realestate.co.nz.

Homestar™ is the comprehensive home rating system developed by the New Zealand building industry and backed by the Government that aims to help Kiwis create healthier, morecomfortable and energy-efficient living spaces.

Alex Cutler, CEO of Homestar, announced the first certified homes located nationally that achieved Homestar ratings of between 4 and 7 stars, including several homes that are on the market.

“We are delighted to now have homes with official Homestar ratings available on the property market.This is an important developmental step in the process of improving the overall stock of New Zealand homes. ”

These homes also received enthusiastic support today from Alistair Helm, CEO of Realestate.co.nz. Mr Helm says that from today, Homestar Certified properties for sale will have their ratings featured on the Realestate.co.nz property portal to show buyers that these homes have an added value in terms of performance and comfort.

“Houses that are warmer, drier and more energy efficient will always be more appealing to buyers. In this way, Homestar has the potential to be a great service to homeowners, real estate agents and the whole New Zealand community,” says Mr Helm.

Mr Helm presented international research at the event that showed a direct correlation between homes with high performance ratings and higher property prices. He said Homestar will provide vendors and real estate agents with a direct competitive edge when marketing properties.

Support for Homestar was also received from Hon. Maurice Williamson, the Minister for Building and Construction.

“I would like to extend my warm congratulations today to Alex Cutler and the team at Homestar on the work they have done towards realising this achievement today. The unveiling of the first Certified Homes today is the result of many years of hard work, research and development to bring to the New Zealand market a home rating tool that is comprehensive, robust and accurate,” said Mr Williamson in a statement.

“Homestar provides homebuyers, sellers and especially real estate agents a benchmark for rating the environmental attributes of New Zealand homes to increase their comfort, appeal and value. I warmly commend the Homestar tool to the real estate industry, and encourage agents to educate themselves about it."

To achieve a certified rating, Homestar Assessors typically spend a few hours at the home measuring in detail the attributes that contribute to itscomfort, health and performance. The Assessor performs a comprehensive assessment of features such as the level of insulation, type of heating, water use, waste, ventilation and indoor air quality, among other things, and calculates a rating from one to ten stars, based on thesefactors. The homeowner then receives a Homestar Certified Rating, along with a unique registration number for authentication purposes.

“When you are selling or renting a home a Homestar Certified Rating will provide a greater level of credibility and assurance for any prospective home owner or tenant,” says Ms Cutler.

“The assessment is not compulsory, though over time it is expected that market forces will encourage more home owners to obtain a Homestar Certified Rating when buying or selling a home. We expect Homestar to have a growing impact on property values, with higher star ratings providing a competitive edge for some houses on the market.”

For more information, please visit www.homestar.org.nz, or to view Homestar Certified properties for sale visit www.realestate.co.nz.

- ends -


About Homestar
Homestar™ – a comprehensive, national voluntary rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes of New Zealand’s stand-alone homes – was created to address the fact that most New Zealand homes are under-performing in comfort, health and energy-efficiency. Homestar was developed by a joint venture partnership between BRANZ, Beacon Pathway and the New Zealand Green Building Council with the support of the building industry and key Government agencies; the Department of Building and Housing and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. Homestar's industry partners include PlaceMakers, The Healthy Home Group, Pink Batts, Gib Living, Fletcher Aluminium, Stonewood Homes, Metro GlassTech, Resene, Cavalier Bremworth, Methven and Mico. Homestar also receives support from industry organisations such as Certified Builders, Registered Master Builders, Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ and the Concrete and Cement Association of NZ.
How Homestar works
Homestar is a comprehensive, national, voluntary residential rating tool that evaluates the environmental attributes of New Zealand’s stand-alone homes. The Homestar rating tool framework has been developed to assess new and existing homes and allows for both self-assessment by the homeowner using the free online tool and also independent assessment that results in the issue of a formal Homestar Certified rating. After taking the online assessment, the homeowner/tenant is provided a provisional rating out of ten along with a Recommendations Report with suggestions on how to make the home healthier and more comfortable to live in. Some suggestions may involve simple actions that involve little or no cost, while others may involve investments that will pay for themselves through lower running costs or other benefits to the household. To gain a higher star rating the home owner will need to address the core issues highlighted in the initial assessment, and then can reassess the house once the changes have been made. To gain a formal HomestarCertified Rating on their property, a homeowner can engage a Homestar Assessor who does a comprehensive, in-depth audit assessment on the property. This is useful information if selling or purchasing a home and may add value by giving potential purchases peace of mind at point of sale.

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