new-builds flats

More motivation to invest in new-builds as MPs reveal proposal

New-builds are already attracting high levels of interest from investors due to their future-proofed energy efficiency statuses, but new policy suggestions could provide a fresh impetus for investment.

The government has the UK property market in its crosshairs to bring about vast improvements in the country’s green credentials and emissions levels, as it continues to strive to reduce our carbon output. The first target we face is to shrink emissions to 68% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The country’s private rented sector has already made a start when it comes to improving the output from the built environment. Privately rented homes must currently achieve a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E in order to legally operate, which has removed many sub-standard properties from the mix.

This is where new-builds continue to perform ahead of the wider market. The vast majority of new-builds reach the top EPC ratings of A or B, and internally many also come fitted out with the most up-to-date appliances, further reducing their effect on the environment.

For investors, then, considering the initial higher outlay that new-builds tend to bring, the fact that owners of older homes are likely to have to fork out large sums of money to get their homes up to scratch when the rules are tightened – possibly bringing the minimum EPC to C – is certainly something to weigh up.

What is being proposed?

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal is made up of cross-party MPs and Lords from UK Parliament. It is setting out to create a practical plan to tackle the climate crisis, with a focus on the UK economy, and the group has come up with a new, radical suggestion.

In a recent session, members of the group proposed adding a mortgage premium for those landlords who do not upgrade their buy-to-let properties to meet current requirements. A 1% surcharge was suggested, as an incentive to get people to boost the EPCs of their homes.

Landlords would have three years to reach the required standard – which is proposed for when the minimum level of C is implemented – and if successful would receive a full refund on any surcharge payments made. Of course, owners of new-builds would swerve the risks of such penalties.

At the moment, the proposals working their way through Parliament are for privately rented properties to reach an EPC rating of C for new tenancies from 2025, and for existing tenancies from 2028. The All-Party Group proposes that this should be brought into law through the Energy Bill.

New-builds ahead of the market

While the current minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) have been in place since April 2018 for new tenancies, it is from 1st April this year that it will officially become lawful for landlords to continue existing tenancies on homes rated F or G.

The exception is if landlords can prove that they have spent a certain amount of money – currently £3,500 – on improvements to try and attain a higher rating. However, compared to new-builds, such inefficient rental homes are also becoming less and less appealing to tenants as standards improve.

However, for buy-to-let landlords relying on a mortgage, it can also be more difficult to secure borrowing on a home with a low EPC rating, if this is flagged up as an issue in the property’s survey.

This has been noted by Dan Lee of Total Landlord Mortgages, who says the firm has already come up against lenders suspending applications until a satisfactory EPC is obtained.

Those looking to invest in new-builds, particularly off-plan, could therefore see things get even easier for them in terms of both mortgages and costs. Should the government bring in penalties for low-efficiency properties, owners of new-builds will be in possession of a much more secure investment option.

BuyAssociation specialises in helping investors to find and purchase some of the UK’s most exciting new-builds and newly renovated homes. Get in touch to find out more.

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT