Friday, 21 January 2022

Buyers pay premium for greener properties

HOMES with the highest energy ratings are worth up to £40,000 more on average compared to less sustainable properties, with environmentally-conscious buyers willing to pay a “green premium” for a more energy-efficient abode.

An in-depth analysis of property pricing data in England and Wales found that homes in all regions sold for a higher price as their energy performance — a measure that takes into account energy efficiency — improved.

People selling their homes in England and Wales must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which ranges from ratings A to G and is valid for 10 years, with A being the “greenest” rating and G the least.

According to the Halifax, which commissioned the research, the difference between the average property price of a home with an EPC rating of E compared to C is £11,000 — which demonstrates the financial returns for more energy-efficient properties.

The greatest difference in property price between single EPC bands are those with G and F ratings, with the latter commanding almost £10,000 more on average.

A survey of prospective homebuyers also found a growing desire for greener homes, with two-thirds (66 per cent) of people saying they would feel proud to have an environmentally-friendly property.

The same proportion also said that their home represents their personal values and what matters to them.

Additionally, more than two in five (42 per cent) current owners said that the energy efficiency of their home was either very important or fairly important when choosing where to live.

Despite this, more than three quarters (77 per cent) of homeowners do not know the rating of their own property, meaning they could be missing out on an opportunity to save on household bills and potentially improve its market value.

The same research revealed that there is a disparity between different regions of England and Wales when it comes to the efficiency of an average home.

Unsurprisingly, districts with more new-builds and flats tend to have higher than average efficiency ratings.

Tower Hamlets in East London fares the best, with an average home scoring a high C, closely followed by Salford in Greater Manchester. Meanwhile, rural districts with older properties, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Welsh districts of Ceredigion and Gwynedd, are the least energy-efficient at the moment.

Halifax mortgages director Andrew Asaam said: “The housing market has fluctuated significantly in the last 18 months. This, and the effect of lockdown, has made many of us reconsider what we value most in a home.

“Increasingly, buyers are recognising that environmentally-friendly properties will reduce their monthly energy bills in addition to their personal carbon footprint. With our analysis also finding that greener homes sell for more money, it’s worth seeing what your home’s potential rating could be.

“Homeowners at the lower end of the energy-efficiency scale are likely to see the greatest returns on their investments, even from making simple changes like switching to LED bulbs or adding loft insulation. There’s a huge opportunity for more people to get on board with this and reap the rewards.”

Tips to help improve the EPC rating of your property are as follows:

1. Switch to energy-saving lighting. One of the quickest and simplest changes you can make that will make a huge difference to your energy bills is to replace all your home’s current light bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs.

2. Use smart thermostats. A smart thermostat helps you save money by heating your home more intelligently. It’ll learn the best way to keep you warm at home while using the minimum possible energy. The more you use it, the more efficient it will become.

3. Upgrade your boiler. Swapping out your old boiler for a newer, more efficient condensing boiler is a sure-fire way to make your home greener. With a larger heat exchanger, they recover more heat than old models and will give a lasting reduction on your energy bills. If you do decide to upgrade, it’s worth doing some research to work out the best option for your home.


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