Home-buyers go for green

The majority of Britons will opt for green homes if given the choice, a survey has found - a tendency that is soon likely to translate into house prices.

As many as 82% of the home-buyers questioned said they would choose a property for its eco-friendly features such as solar panels - with the property being in a "pleasant neighbourhood" the only deciding factor that scored higher.

While house-buyers were keen to contribute to reducing carbon emissions with solar panels, wind turbines and other micro-renewable technologies, they also seemed aware of the effects climate change is likely to have on their property in the future. Flooding was the biggest turn-off factor for the house-buyers questioned - 94% said they would be put off buying a property if it was potentially at risk of flooding.

Fionnuala Earley, chief economist at Nationwide building society which conducted the survey, said: "It is great to see that, given the choice, most of us would opt for a 'green' home, although there's currently no evidence to suggest that environmentally friendly properties command a higher price.

"Having said that, with the recent publication of the government's climate change bill and the pressure on households to become more energy efficient, it is inevitable that environmental home improvements will have some impact on house prices over the long-term," she said.

An environmentally friendly home proved most attractive to those living in the North East of England, 88% of whom said that eco-features were likely to influence their purchasing decision, or 6% above the national average.

Goska Romanowicz


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