Wednesday 28 June 2023

The future is (less) bright and more energy efficient


I never thought I'd say this, having been in property in South London for 20 years - home buyers are now curious as to the energy efficiency of their new home! What was once laughable (Energy Performance Certificates) is now a serious talking point on viewings.

I always used the "how much are the bills?" question as a qualifier on viewings thinking "you really shouldn't be asking that question, it's not going to be significantly different to the place you're in now, surely." However times change! electricity is now 50p/kwh or thereabouts if you're on a good deal, probably 10fold what they were when these energy labels became a (small and insignificant at the time) thing.

Reals before feels

In fact research is suggesting that the energy efficiency is forming a greater part of the buying decision in place of the "feel" and "attraction" of a new home. Who'd have thought?? Certainly not me. Possibly this is an indicator that buyers are stretched beyond belief when budgeting for their mortgage payments and the like... Bad news, but that's a topic for another day. 

The designer sofa is making way for the EV charging point (much to Elon's jubilance I'm sure). Research from Hive (you know, the thermostats) suggests that the top selling points for a British home are solar panels (68% voted number 1) and good roof insulation (67%) valued more than design features such as natural lighting (53%), wooden flooring (22%) and reclaimed woodwork (21%). CRAZY! But true... Leads me to think their pool of respondents needs increasing, but there we are.

EVs for the masses

Despite the electric vehicle craze only 4.5% of British homes own one! Yet the research showed that 39% of respondents would be amenable to a charging point (if they could afford it). It's one of those things that will pay itself back in your grandchildren's lifetime (by which point you would have already sold the home I'm sure). Top on the list of desirable upgrades to no surprise are solar panels, but again the cost is high. Payback period is slightly shorter mind, as the price of electricity seems to be rocketing quicker than the price of bitcoin on a good day (this is more sustained and only going one way).

Boost your property value

Respondents reported being willing to pay an average of £5000 more for an EV charger and generally £11,000 more if the home was thought to be "eco-friendly." So if you drive an EV anyway of some sort then it may be a worthwhile investment as the EV market is set to grow. The sale of combustion fuelled cars will be halted in 2030 so I trust that as we get close to that date the demand will become greater and hence the perceived value. Perhaps your home will become easier to sell over time because of delays installing all these charging points, so for once it is better to get in early. Who knows, I don't have a crystal ball. What I do know is that the narrative is "petrol bad, electric good," so treat your property value with this in mind because sentiment is only going one way.

If you are looking for a valuation on your property, EV charging point or not, then head on over here for a 60 second valuation of your property. Want a visit with more insight? Book a valuation by sending me an email!

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