Top spec new-builds remain highly sought after among investors

Thanks to a wave of higher standards being brought in for new-builds, they are in high demand among buyers looking to make long-term savings and efficiencies.

As the UK’s housing policy continually changes, the regulations and requirements of new homes being built are constantly adapted to ensure the most up-to-date standards and forward-thinking features.

This has become particularly apparent in recent years, thanks to the government’s drive towards a greener and cleaner built environment, as part of its target to hit net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. And for property buyers and investors, a number of factors combine to make these more energy efficient homes even more appealing.

Part of the ongoing future-proofing plan in the UK housing market includes the Future Homes and Buildings Standard, which includes measures to improve the way the homes make and retain heat – some of which have already been implemented and can result in major savings for the occupier.

Where property investors rent out their flats and houses to tenants, the benefits of offering top specification new-builds with enhanced insulation, draught-proof windows and doors and efficient heating systems can be huge, particularly as the cost of living crisis continues to affect millions of households.

What eco features do buyers get from new-builds?

New-builds – and energy efficient homes in general – are becoming a more popular asset, despite the potentially higher initial outlay, due to the surging cost of energy bills. The more energy efficiency features a property has, the cheaper it is to run over the long term.

According to one new study released by Turley, low upkeep costs are now the second most important factor for those buying a property – whether to live in or to rent out – after location. What’s more, more than a third (35%) of respondents said they were will to pay more for new-builds to benefit from their greater energy efficiency.

The vast majority of today’s new-builds come with the highest energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings, which is a measure of how energy efficient the property is, and can help prospective buyers and tenants to work out how much their bills will be.

In Turley’s survey, high-performance insulation was an eco feature prioritised by 71% of prospective buyers, followed by high-specification glazed windows (65%) and solar panels (63%). These are obviously a more rare feature to have, but are appearing more and more, particularly in newly built blocks of flats.

Heat pumps and electric vehicles

Electric, ground source or air source heat pumps are another key instalment in many new-builds today. They class as a particularly low-carbon form of heating, potentially saving the user thousands of pounds over a number of years. Ultimately, they are expected to become the principal low-carbon heat source for UK residential new-builds.

Almost half (47%) of people surveyed listed heat pumps as another appealing item for new-builds to have, although 20% said they did not actually know what a heat pump was.

Meanwhile, despite the significant rise in the number of electric vehicles now on the roads, 43% of respondents said electric vehicle infrastructure and charging points would not particularly appeal to them at the moment when considering a property purchase.

Huge improvements in standards

Barny Evans, director of sustainability at Turley, said: “New homes built during the 2020s will change more than in the previous 40 years. Heat pumps, electric vehicle chargers, much better insulation and solar power will be standard on almost all homes very soon. These features, as well as improving environmental performance, can reduce bills substantially.

“Although there is still a way to go, our survey shows a growing awareness and appreciation of these features. That is a great incentive for housebuilders to embrace them and showcase them on new developments.”

Turley’s research mirrors that of a number of other organisations recently, demonstrating a huge change in the attitudes of buyers, and it is something that growing numbers of property investors are realising the importance of in terms of the marketability and longevity of their investments.

In December, Legal & General Capital revealed similar trends in a report, which found that buyers are willing to pay up to a 20% premium to secure low-carbon homes, including new-builds.

At BuyAssociation, we specialise in helping property investors secure high-specification off-plan, new-build properties in key locations across the UK. Get in touch today to find out more.

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