New research from Leaders Romans Group (LRG) – one of the largest property services groups in the UK – has revealed huge demand for eco-friendly homes among consumers. According to the research, almost three quarters (70%) of respondents nationwide would like their property to be more eco-friendly.
The recent UN COP26 Climate Change Conference forced everybody to take a look at the environmental impact of their actions – not least the housing sector. It is estimated that in the UK, homes account for around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions, meaning any change could make a big impact. As shown by this recent LRG research, consumers are only too aware of this.
The study found that eco-friendly home features such as wall insulation, renewable energy sources and double or triple glazing were found to be a major draw, with more than half (56%) of respondents saying they would specifically seek out a property with these qualities. In fact, two-thirds (66%) revealed they would choose a property with eco-friendly features over one without.
Notably, younger, more eco-conscious respondents, aged between 25 and 34, are the most likely to look for these features with 61% expressing this wish. With these people being the buyers of the future, developers and landlords who ignore their expectations will do so at their peril.
There is also an increase in requests for those working in the property sector to reflect the new desires of consumers, with the survey highlighting demand for estate agents with knowledge in eco-friendly properties. More than half (56%) would prefer to buy or rent from an agent with expertise in this area. This was particularly true of 25-34-year-olds, with 63% reporting this preference again highlighting the need for the industry to cater for those entering the market.
On motivations for seeking out eco-friendly properties, carbon footprint impact only slightly outweighs financial benefit. According to the survey, 60% of respondents would be interested in an eco-friendly property to minimise carbon footprint, compared to 59% to reap financial benefits, such as higher resale value, savings on bills, etc.
Whatever the reason, over a third (35%) of respondents said they would pay up to 10% more for a property with eco-friendly features, meaning that developers who ignore this trend could significantly lose out on financial yield.
For new build homes in particular, sustainable expectations are high, with 80% of respondents expressing this belief. Perhaps surprisingly, as younger generations are expected to be the most eco-conscious, this expectation increased with age, with 87% of those aged 65+ expecting more green homes.
Overall, these findings demonstrate the need for more green homes to be built so that landlords, movers and homeowners can fulfil sustainability desires and the property sector can play a positive role in decreasing the UK’s carbon footprint.
Michael Cook, National Lettings Managing Director, LRG, commented: “Landlords should take heed of these findings, particularly with new government legislation, such as EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) changes in the pipeline for 2025. As this research shows, they’ll be rewarded for doing so, given the tenant demand for eco-friendly features.”
Tim Foreman, Managing Director, Land and New Homes, LRG, added: “Significant change is difficult for any industry, let alone one as complex as property, but there’s a huge benefit to everyone in the sector playing their part in the fight against climate change – both ethically and financially. Homebuilders are well positioned to make a huge impact with this, and so must lead the way when it comes laying sustainable foundations.”