02 Dec 2022

Research released today by Legal & General, a player in the Build To Rent sector, claims that renters are willing to pay far more for low-carbon homes.

It claims renters are willing to pay a 13 per cent premium and buyers a 10.5 per cent premium for such properties,. With an apparent 34 per cent increase in tenant and buyer searches for eco-friendly homes online.

Legal & General says that it expects the UK energy price cap will be lifted for all but the poorest households in April 2023, with energy bills projected to account for 11 per cent of household income shortly afterwards. 

The company adds that its research findings “demonstrate a need for further guidance on the approach as to how more sustainable properties are valued and a review of current recognised metrics such as EPCs.” 

It continues that with trends now showing that green residential buildings could generate higher purchase and rental premiums, this could represent a major turning point in the way residential housing may be valued in future. 

Legal & General hopes that these timely findings will inform the RICS Red Book consultation and be reflected in the value of homes in the future.

John Alker, head of sustainability at Legal & General Capital, says: “The research also shows that clarity is key when it comes to low carbon and energy efficiency. Energy Performance Certificates are not well understood—they need reforming to better reflect real world energy consumption and to help incentivise adoption of low-carbon technology. We need to ensure that climate and energy considerations are central to the housing market.”

And Simon Century, director of housing at Legal & General Capital, adds: “Today, approximately one fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions come from homes. To achieve net zero by 2050, emissions from residential property must be reduced.  We have to continue to Build Back Better to turbo-charge UK economic growth without stoking up the climate crisis at the same time. Every pound invested delivers an economic multiplier effect as the housebuilding and retrofitting sectors provide jobs and vital economic resilience.

“Legal & General’s research shows that location, good insulation, and lower energy bills are the top three general criteria when selecting a property.  For the first time, energy efficiency is now as important as the size of the property, a welcome change to the way consumers think about buying a home.  

“By enabling all new Legal & General homes to be operationally net zero carbon from the end of the decade, the emissions of many tonnes of greenhouse gasses will be avoided, whilst saving customers money and meeting the needs of both customers and investors who increasingly focus on sustainable solutions.”

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