Green homes sell better, survey shows

Seven out of ten UK homebuyers would pay more for an energy-efficient home, and almost half are prepared to invest an extra £5-10,000 in an eco-house with advanced energy and water-saving features, new research reveals.

The study commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust also found that resource-saving measures strongly influence homebuyers’ decisions. 64% of buyers said that the lack of features such as draught proofing, cavity walls, loft insulation and double-glazing would deter them, compared to 22% who said they would be swayed by factors like bad décor.

But only 21% of home sellers made increasing energy efficiency a priority when trying to attract buyers, with 59% choosing to improve on visual effects like paintwork.

The results prove that installing energy-saving measures pays not only in terms of savings on bills for the home owner, but as a long-term investment that makes a property more sought-after when it is put on the market, the EST said.

Recent Government efforts to cut energy waste (see related story) mostly affect new buildings, while demand for energy efficiency on the housing markets could drive improvements in existing buildings, ETS chief executive Philip Sellwood believes:

“With our homes responsible for over a quarter of the UK’s total CO2 emissions, it is essential to increase their energy efficiency. This increase in demand for environmentally friendly homes will hopefully inspire more homeowners to make important improvements, not only to make their homes more comfortable and less costly to run, but also to pass on these benefits to potential buyers.”

TV presenter and property expert Naomi Cleaver commented:

“With the home being the biggest single investment most people are likely to make in a lifetime, it needs to be a haven that people can enjoy.

“Installing energy efficient measures such as sufficient loft insulation and double glazing can make a home warmer, more secure and cheaper to run, which can all help secure a more favourable offer.”

By Goska Romanowicz

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