How Is Sustainability Impacting The UK Housing Market?

The UK housing market is undergoing an era of transformation. As the demand for sustainable housing increases, the market is being reshaped to meet this need. 

What Is Sustainability?

​​The definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future and ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental protection, and social well-being.

Reasons Why Sustainability Is Becoming More Important In The UK Housing Market 

There are a number of reasons why sustainability is becoming more prevalent and important within the UK housing market, including:

Increasing Demand For Energy Efficient Homes

There is a growing demand for homes with energy efficiency features and renewable energy sources such as solar panels, heat pumps, and biomass boilers. These features help to reduce energy consumption and bills for homeowners, as well as making homes more environmentally friendly

The growing demand for eco-friendly homes is also reflected in Legal & General Capital’s research, conducted with YouGov, which found that buyers will pay up to 20% premium for low-carbon homes. Additionally, the data shows that consumers are now rating energy-efficient, sustainable features as more important than the size of the property, when it comes to finding a new home.

Growing Awareness Of Environmental Issues 

More than 80% of UK citizens expressed some concern about climate change in a study conducted by Statista in 2022. Comparatively, only 16 percent of respondents were unconcerned, and 4% of those respondents had no worries at all. As part of its Net Zero and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) conducted the poll.

Government Initiatives To Reduce Carbon Emissions 

There is a growing trend for sustainable housing developments, with many local authorities in the UK looking to promote low-carbon housing and green initiatives. This includes encouraging the use of sustainable building materials, such as timber, and encouraging the use of renewable energy sources. The UK government introduced initiatives such as the Green Homes Grant, which provides funding for homeowners and landlords to make their homes more energy efficient – although this is now closed to new applicants.

According to law, the UK government is required under the Climate Change Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% of 1990 levels (net zero) by 2050. This includes lowering emissions from the devolved governments, which now contribute for around 20% of the UK’s emissions (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).

Benefits Of Sustainable Housing 

Some of the benefits of sustainable include things such as:

Reduced Energy Bills 

Reduced energy bills are a major benefit of sustainable housing. Sustainable housing uses energy efficient design, materials and systems to reduce the amount of energy used for heating, cooling and lighting. This includes the use of energy efficient appliances, insulation and air sealing, and solar energy. 

These measures help homeowners save money on their monthly energy bills and also help reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, many local and federal government programs provide financial incentives for sustainability efforts, such as tax credits, utility rebates and grants. By investing in sustainable housing, homeowners can save money in the long run and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment.

Improved Air Quality 

Improved air quality is a major benefit of sustainable housing. Sustainable housing uses green building methods to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. These methods include proper insulation, the use of renewable energy sources, and the use of materials that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The end result is that the air inside the home is cleaner and healthier, which can help to reduce the incidence of respiratory illnesses. Moreover, because there is less pollution outside, the air in the neighbourhood is also cleaner, leading to improved air quality for everyone.

Increased Property Values 

Sustainable housing can increase property value by making the home more desirable to potential buyers. The energy savings, lower environmental impact, and healthier living environment associated with sustainable housing can make it a more attractive option than traditional homes, allowing homeowners to command higher prices. Additionally, sustainable housing often requires fewer repairs and maintenance, making it a more cost-effective option for homeowners in the long run.

In Summary

The UK housing market is changing rapidly due to the growing demand for more sustainable options and technologies. With advances in modern materials, energy-efficient designs, and renewable energy sources, the UK is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint and create a more energy-efficient building stock. The government is also investing in green infrastructure projects, such as retrofitting existing homes and creating more sustainable new builds. This is having a positive impact on the country’s housing market, as buyers are increasingly looking for homes that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective. The UK is well on its way to becoming one of the most sustainable housing markets in the world.