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CBRE's survey reveals which social building features that occupiers and investors would pay a premium for, or the absence of which would cause them to seek a discount or reject a transaction altogether.

Figure 15: How Social Building Features Impact a Real Estate Transaction

Source: CBRE Global ESG Survey, November 2022.
Note: Total Impact = If present, we’d consider paying a premium + If absent, we’d seek a discount + If absent, we’d exit from or reject the building.

Building Features Dashboard

Which environmental and social building features have the most impact?

Proximity to public transit important


82% of respondents cited proximity to public transport
as having an impact on real estate decisions.

Buildings with convenient access to public transportation systems led the list. Nearly 40% of respondents would seek a discount or walk away from a deal altogether if a building is not near public transport. This is likely due to less tolerance for long commute times, especially from suburban to downtown locations.3

Buildings that support cycling and walking and those with inclusive design that meet the needs of all employees also made the top five list. Nearly half of respondents are willing to pay a premium for building features that improve the physical and mental health of employees and for buildings that have health and well-being certifications.

Figure 16: Proximity to public transport

Source: CBRE Global ESG Survey, November 2022.
3Cross-Generational Attitudes That Will Transform the Built Environment,” CBRE Research, Nov. 28, 2022.

Social building features focus
on tenant benefits


60% respondents agreed on the top five social
building features that impact the value of real
estate transactions—all focused on tenant
health and well-being.

While investors and occupiers appear aligned on the top social features of buildings, occupiers more commonly agree on the importance of features that promote employee health, wellness and inclusiveness.

Figure 17: Building-related social features with most impact on real estate decisions

Source: CBRE Global ESG Survey, November 2022.

We’re finding that investors and occupiers are now increasingly seeking to ensure that the buildings they own or occupy deliver employee health, well-being and engagement, alongside a broader benefit to their local communities. We believe that socially responsible real estate addresses not just reputational risk but establishes how best to deliver positive impact.
Kaela Fenn-SmithManaging Director, Sustainability & ESG Consultancy, UK & Ireland
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Threat of controversy
has significant impact


49% of respondents would reject
a building involved in any controversy.

Social controversy is also a top consideration in all regions, with 49% of all respondents indicating they would reject a building involved in any controversy.4 This is significantly higher than the percentage of respondents who would reject a building for the presence or absence of any other social feature.

Figure 18: Some owners, tenants or building uses can be socially controversial. How are your real estate decisions typically affected by any controversy?

Source: CBRE Global ESG Survey, November 2022.
4 Note: What investors and occupiers consider “controversial” is subjective and likely impacted by their location and industry type.


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