Think Property says green homes are more than just media hype
thinkproperty.com, the fastest growing property portal in the UK (Source: Hitwise, April 2007), are urging real estate agents to highlight the ‘green’ credentials of a property in response to increased home owner awareness of CO2 emissions.
Research undertaken by thinkproperty shows nearly 70% of UK home owners would modify their properties to make them ‘green’ if the Government incentivised this with offers of special mortgages and lower council tax. Over 80% believe that the Government should help home owners to fund environmentally-friendly changes to improve energy efficiency such as roof insulation and solar panels.
Further research shows 1.8 million non-domestic buildings and around 24 million domestic dwellings account for 47% of the UK’s CO2 emissions (Source: The Carbon Trust 2007). These CO2 emissions result from the heating, cooling and lighting of homes and over the lifetime of a house, meaning the operational CO2 emissions far outweigh the embodied CO2 emissions of the construction materials.
To this end, the environmental credentials of a property, particularly energy efficiency, is becoming an increasingly important part of its value and the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) is helping to focus home movers on the green issue.
Zero carbon homes are exempt from stamp duty, making them an attractive purchase for house hunters. Even properties with a favourable Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be appealing for those looking to buy property, as steps to improve a home’s energy efficiency can have a positive impact on the cost of gas, electricity and domestic heating oil.
Suzanne Deakins, Head of Group Marketing at thinkproperty.com commented: “With budgets generally tight for home movers with rising energy prices, any evidence of lower energy bills or lower stamp duty could make a real difference to the sale of a property – something worth considering not only for estate agents when trying to sell a property, but also for home owners looking to sell their home.”
According to a study in September 2007 on the Introduction of Energy Performance Certificates and Home Information Packs, the average EPC rating could rise to a ‘C’, with annual savings per household of around £270 achievable, if some simple energy saving measures were put in place. This includes cavity wall insulation, low energy lighting and double glazing, making green homes attractive even as rental property.
Currently, carbon neutral housing schemes are extremely scarce. There are some examples, such as BedZED in Sutton, which is a joint venture created by the Peabody Trust and the environmental charity, BioRegional. BedZED is the UK’s largest carbon-neutral eco-community with 82 residential homes there. This is the first project in the UK to be focused on zero carbon emissions.
However, BioRegional are creating new schemes in Brighton, Middlesbrough and London. There is also an Ilkley development by Myddleton Construction and South West Eco Homes’ development called ‘Great Bow Yard’ in Langport, Somerset. The aim of England’s first carbon-neutral village is to reduce the carbon footprint produced by its inhabitants of an existing, similar-sized community by 60%. The site, of 150 super-energy-efficient houses, could be completed within 3 years.
So whilst truly ‘green’ properties are in the minority, numbers are set to increase and thinkproperty.com would advise highlighting the ‘green’ credentials of a property when on the market to avoid looking old-fashioned and out-of-touch with current housing market issues.
Note to Editors:
GMG Property Services Group also owns Vebra, the UK’s no1 provider of estate agency software and UK’s no2 Business and Finance - Property website (Source: Hitwise, March 2007).
GMG is wholly owned by the Scott Trust, which was created in 1936 to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity.
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