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Would you pay 15% premium for a low-EPC buy to let?

The Santander bank says buyers - landlords and owner occupiers alike - are showing more interest in buying energy efficient homes.

The bank asked 2,000 property owners and 175 agents and found 85 per cent of agents reporting increased demand in the past 12 months. 

Estate agents put it down to the rising costs of energy bills, alongside increased number of green mortgage products from lenders and a greater awareness of the need to live more sustainably to combat climate change.

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Not only is there growing awareness but estate agents report this is creating a ‘green premium’ in the market, with buyers spending on average 15.5 per cent more for a property with a high EPC rating.   

But the bank admits that while engagement is growing, there remains a knowledge gap, with three in five buyers not knowing the EPC rating of the property they currently live in.
 
The research shows that agents are being proactive in helping bridge this gap, with two thirds in the past 12 months undertaking training to improve their knowledge, and a further 29 per cent planning to do so in the future. 

In addition, three in five have updated their marketing materials to make energy efficiency information more prominent.

Graham Sellar, Head of Business Development – Mortgages at Santander comments: “The feedback from agents is striking and reveals that in an environment of rising cost of living pressures, there has been a real shift in preference among buyers for homes with reduced energy costs. 

“Agents will be a key part of raising understanding and awareness among buyers and sellers on the benefits of having an energy efficient home, so it is encouraging so many are being proactive in improving their understanding. With the findings showing a clear ‘green home premium’, the benefits are clear, and any changes made will not only reduce buyers’ bills but make the property more attractive to buyers in the future.” 

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    Properties with higher EPCs often are simply either newer or better maintained - you don't do all the insulation and leave old windows, old kitchen, old bathroom etc - so how can you tell its the EPC that is forcing the rent or price up?

    In the current market you could rent out any house and have a queue for it, demand is so high & availability so low. I don't believe tenants take any notice of the EPC.

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    I've never known any tenant show interest in an EPC, I doubt most of them know what it is

     
  • Elizabeth Campion

    The newer houses are like shoe boxes. Shame for beautiful old properties with character

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    Agree, what soulless places they are……. Pity the tenants of the future.

     
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    I've never known a tenant be especially interested in the EPC but some of them are enthusiastic about specific energy saving kit such as good heating programmers.

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    Yet most never changed supplier or tariffs; are often on E7 when they shouldn't be; heat hot water in the tank endlessly and walk around in T shirts in January!

    They may have an interest in the tech - but probably don't actually use it to be more efficient :)

     
  • George Dawes

    NO

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    I agree but would go further.

    NO to any% more and possibly NO to a lower price as higher EPC tends to mean modern rubbish which won't last even my remaining life time.

    Give me Victorian quality every time.

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Cant see it myself. Still havent had a single buyer ask to see an EPC, so the stat must be circumstantial. Either way, until we get some closure on how the measure/rating is going to change, who would waste money on investing in a C for example, if after the recalibration that is expected a D becomes a C anyway, or even an E? £45k down the drain if the 15% is accurate. Even £5k would be too much.

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