Currently, we are living in times of climate emergency. As per the forecast of the Met Office, we are to experience wetter winters and drier summers by 2070. A huge population of almost 5 million people residing in the areas adjacent to rivers or sea are extremely vulnerable to flood damage.
On the other hand, the housing crisis in the UK continues to intensify as the need for additional homes are increasing. The entire world is conducting a serious discussion on global warming and climate change, so major sources of carbon emission can be identified as the primary cause of global warming. Policies and strategies are being created to bring effective changes that halt or slow down climate change.
According to the pledge of the UK Government, the goal is to achieve net-zero carbon emission by the year 2050. This is where carbon emission of the housing market has come under the spotlight. In fact, environmental factors also have a major impact on the value of a property and the real estate market at large if you are not sure about the value of your property, signup for a free house valuation from trusted estate agents.
As per the built environment, it records 40% of the total carbon emission of the UK. Although there has been a significant decrease in the carbon footprints of property since 1990, the existing housing stock still has a long and arduous journey ahead.
It is safe to say that the real estate sector will make up for a major chunk in the plan of the government.
Are there any downsides to the greener solutions?
The basic framework of green homes is built on environment-friendly alternatives such as replacing fossil fuel heating systems with clean technologies. The target is to build properties that use air source heat pumps and solar panels along with triple glazing amongst other green technologies by 2025 in order to reduce carbon emissions from our homes.
With an aim to cut down carbon emissions by 80% from 2025 these newly-built homes will be great examples of an effective response to climate change. Moreover, such sustainable change will also help residents to cut down the bills.
But such changes will come at a cost. As per the estimates of the Ministry for Housing, new homes built as for these standards will cost approximately £4, 487 for a house and £2,256 for a flat. Since the government has not released any plans to overcome this, it remains to be a big hurdle for many developers. Developers are still unsure whether these properties will achieve higher prices although data shows homes with high energy standards have fetched high prices.
Tips for buyers who are investing in property
Given the urgency of climate change, the individual opinion of buyers will not make the issue go away. The housing market will continue to remain a key focus in the process of change. Hence, if you identify as a prospective homebuyer or property investor, it is time to future-proof all your investments in order to accommodate the new set of targets and rules that lead to a reduction of carbon emissions.
Here are some ways in which you can achieve this goal!
Buying a new-build
One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is to purchase a property. Usually, old buildings still make use of equipment that are heavily reliant on fossil fuels to function. New properties rank higher on the scale of energy efficiency. To state the recent research based on energy performance certificate (EPC), newly built homes are 80% or more efficient in energy efficiency and can easily achieve the top A or B rating.
Focusing on smart home technology
The energy efficiency of homes can also be increased by choosing smart home technology. Apps that control heating and hot water not only save money but also provide smart energy-efficient lighting. Check for properties that are built with smart technology before investing.
Choose to invest in eco-friendly appliances
Whenever you buy a newly-built house, you get your appliances preinstalled. Again, depending on the choice of the house, you can get to choose your appliances. Buying energy-efficient appliances will be a great way to start future-proofing your property.
Be mindful of flood risks when choosing a location
As the global temperature is rising, the risk of floods is increasing. Although the current warm level as a certain location may seem to be well below the danger level, investing in a property is a long-term investment. This means you will either reside in that property for a good number of years, or you will be investing in the property for ROI. Either way, your property’s value will decrease if you choose to invest in flood-prone areas.
Roads or public transport
Remember that public transport is another major target area for climate change strategies formulated by the government. Changes are on their way as the transport system is getting greener. Hence, investing in a property that is close to a public transport system, cycling lanes and pedestrian access is a smart and wise choice.
Charging points for electric cars
As per the new government regulations, all new-builds must have electric car charge points. The UK Government also plans to ban the sale of hybrid cars, new petrol and diesel by 2035 in order to promote the use of electric cars. Hence, this is an additional point that works in favour of one’s property investment and purchase.
Consider EPC ratings
The minimum EPC ratings for any privately rented property is E since April 2018. This number is only to increase in future. Hence, property investors must keep this in consideration when investing in property. An increase in the EPC rating in future will make it more worthy of investment in the near future.
Climate change is real and we need to act on it with urgency. While the Government has a huge responsibility to address this crisis, the real estate sector should be ready to adhere to these changes. We hope that this blog addresses environmental concerns and helps you gain more clarity about the housing trends in the UK.