Will improving my home's green credentials increase its value?
You might wonder if you'll recoup the cost of your home eco-investments before you move house. But even if you plan to sell up in just a few years, there's increasing evidence that this might not be a problem…

What the estate agents say...

Many property websites now reckon that energy efficiency and micro-generation investments add value to your home.

aboutproperty.co.uk says “By making some simple energy-saving improvements, such as installing quality glazing or fitting an energy efficient condenser boiler, homeowners can really add value to their homes, whilst helping the environment at the same time".

propertyfinder.com thinks that “energy efficiency is coming to the fore in the minds of buyers, and sellers would be wise to reap the benefits by vastly increasing both the value and the saleability of their properties by implementing relatively low-cost measures.” As they rightly say a lot of these measures needn't be pricey - check out our energy saving ideas factsheet. 

And a survey by The Clydesdale Bank showed that a third of first-time buyers say they will avoid a property which is not energy efficient. So think about energy efficiency improvements and microgeneration installations as a way of improving the value and saleability of your home - just like loft conversions or laying a new carpet.

How much value could it add?

All this is good news for people wanting to do their bit, but make the investments stack up. However the exact value that these investments could add to your home is still pretty hard to pin an exact figure on.

An article in the freesheet newspaper thelondonpaper on 1st March 2007 predicted that within 3 years eco-friendly features could add 6% to the market value of a house - adding £15,000 to a property worth £250,000 in London. The research was carried out by  website beatthatquote.com, who said "investing in eco-friendly technology and choosing energy from renewable sources will be a great way to ensure that your house stands out from the rest".

Research by builders merchants Wolseleys found nearly 63% of adults in Britain would pay more for an energy efficient home, and 24% of these people are willing to pay between £1,000 and £5,000 on top of the property’s asking price for an energy-efficient home and 11% say they would be happy to pay up to £10,000 more.

Home information packs

The Home Information Packs (HIPs) became mandatory in June 2007. These packs, which sellers must prepare to show to buyers, include a range of information about the house, including the Energy Performance Certificate, which gives the house an A to G energy efficiency rating.  Potential buyers should be able to get an idea of the of likely heating, hot water and lighting costs for that house. This should mean that an efficient house, or one that generates its own energy, should sell for more than a leaky, expensive. So far HIPs have proved less than successful though at encouraging energy efficiency improvements among sellers. For more information on the energy efficiency ratings of HIPs click here

Marcus Cox, MD of mysalepack.com believes that it will make the Energy Efficiency status of the home more important to buyers and have a direct bearing on its marketability. Trials of the home info packs in Southwark and Wales have shown that sellers do find it easier and less time consuming to sell the house - and buyers found the information was straightforward and made it less stressful to choose a property.

 

Some figures on the desirability of sustainable homes:

Sustainability network SPONGE commissioned a MORI poll on this topic and found:
  • 92% of people are keen to see sustainability features offered on new homes.
  • 64% of people say that some sustainability features should be compulsory.
  • 60% of homeowners claim to have installed energy or water saving features since moving into their homes.
  • 45% of people state energy efficiency or water saving features were fairly or overly important when choosing their current home and 73% of people say it's important for when purchasing a house next time.
  • Two thirds of people are willing to pay a monthly charge for sustainable services (e.g convenient recycling, car sharing etc.) 

The report concludes that the lack of information is a key barrier in driving demand for sustainable homes and 73% of people felt that the government should be responsible for communicating the benefits of sustainable homes to the public. So it seems that sustainable services is already acting as an unique selling point for developments!