Majority of UK house buyers want their new homes to be energy efficient

Property Reporter
24th September 2021
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A new UK-wide study of prospective buyers for new homes has revealed that 61% of house buyers prioritise energy efficiency for heating and fixtures when looking for a new home.

House hunters have become increasingly interested in sustainability, leading them to look for energy-efficient homes that offer green features. Plus, this month the government announced a new £270m Green Heat Network Fund to support low-carbon heating across England.

As well as finding that 61% prioritise energy efficiency for heating and fixtures, 44% want their home to be fitted for environmentally friendly living such as food waste disposal, recycling, and renewable energy systems. Also, 1 in 3 want their new home to be sustainably built.

Conducted by kitchen fixtures supplier, Insinkerator, the new study asked 270 households around the UK to find out whether they’re looking to buy a new home, what their needs would be and their confidence in the UK’s new-build houses.

Within the next 3 years, 58% of current renters plan to become first-time buyers and around half of existing homeowners (47%) are looking to buy a new property.

Property priorities have also changed with the rise of flexible working, with more people looking for homes with greater indoor space or with space for a home office. The majority (67%) of potential buyers place the highest priority on surrounding green space; either directly around the house, local parkland or walking access to the countryside.

Kevin Carr, UK Sales Director at Insinkerator, says: “We conducted this study as part of our research into UK housing trends and we have uncovered some extremely useful findings, both for suppliers and housing developers. We’ve been able to tap into what features home buyers are including on their wish lists when looking for new properties and can see how this has become much more green-focused. Housing developers need to keep up with these changing expectations and fulfil these desires by building properties that are sustainably constructed and include eco-friendly kitchen fixtures that cater to a more green lifestyle, or else risk lost confidence from potential buyers.”

Paul Gibbens, Property Specialist at Housebuyers4u, says: “With people becoming more environmentally conscious and looking for all the latest technologies to give better efficiencies, the demand for new-build housing has been pretty solid over the last decade or so. Many of the things expected in new builds such as double or even triple-glazed windows, insulated walls, roofs, and doors, and energy-efficient heating are all common in new-build properties.”

Chris Lawson, Managing Director at CK Architectural, adds: “The design of housing estates, with various types of housing, green spaces, play areas and even small commercial shops, schools and doctor surgeries have been created as planners recognise the need to create sustainable communities with upgraded infrastructures all to cope with new housing communities.

"The demands for inclusive housing, including open market, affordable and first-time buyers and buy to let have all influenced the major developer’s approach to new developments and the design standards they are trying to meet. If you combine this with Government design standards and planning obligations, developers have a lot to juggle. While most developments are built to meet all planning policy and design standards, at times these are not necessarily aligned with the public's expectations.”

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