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Roles Of Nature And Eco-Friendliness Increasingly Important To Homebuyers

Posted 29 July 2022 by Keith Osborne

Andrea Fawell of Kebbell on the role of sustainability and green credentials in today's homebuying choices...

Post pandemic, the desire to have gardens and access to open spaces, as well as the importance of sustainability and green credentials, are in tandem increasingly significant to buyers; in particular to younger generations and first-time buyers for whom sustainability may well be a deal-breaker when making property decisions.

Eco-conscious buyers

It is estimated by the Climate Change Committee (theccc.org.uk) that homes account for around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, so the implications of eco-conscious buyers demanding more sustainable homes could have a significant impact on the market and the environment in the near future.

Andrea Fawell, sales and marketing director at Kebbell, said: “New buyers are increasingly concerned about rising energy costs. They are concerned about the need to improve air quality, want to ensure clean water and simultaneously minimise water usage, and reduce waste. They want their homes to have better insulation, more energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly power supply and more efficient appliances, wood and plastic alternatives, recycled materials and materials that are free of toxins. They are also more passionate about open space preservation and flora and fauna diversity.”

A recent nationwide survey from Leaders Romans Group revealed almost three-quarters (70%) of respondents would like their property to be more eco-friendly and over a third (35%) of respondents said they would pay up to 10% more for a property with eco-friendly features.

Andrea Fawell said: “Some may be willing to pay more to ensure green credibility, but it is likely that these requirements will increasingly become the norm and developers need to keep up.”

Buying changes

Preferential mortgage rates for new homes which have an energy rating of A and B are increasingly being offered, in part to encourage people to buy more energy-efficient homes. A purchaser can also sometimes borrow more from a lender, if they are buying a new build property with a good energy rating, on the basis that if you buy a new home with lower utility bills you can probably afford to borrow more.

Cornelian FieldsCornelian Fields

Proximity to nature

Whilst eco-conscious buyers are pushing developers to consider energy efficiency and sustainability, proximity to nature and the importance of the landscape that surrounds them became a real driving force during the pandemic. Demand for countryside properties has significantly risen and the market is still seeing a strong push for new homes with gardens, situated within close proximity to beautiful natural habitats, open spaces and nature reserves.

Fawell described how Cornelian Fields in Scarborough was built with proximity to nature at the heart of the design but says “We cannot keep up with the demand largely because it is the perfect location to step away from the big cities and to embrace coastal and countryside life. Carefree coastal living provides endless opportunities to explore nature, as well as relax and unwind after busy working days, and that is something that many buyers desire now.”

One new resident at Cornelian Fields, Michael McSharry, agreed and said: “We go for a walk to the bay and around the area every weekend morning, collecting a coffee from the local coffee hut. It is a steep walk back and totally wild. Dalby forest is 20 mins away and the area is part of the North York Moors so is excellent for mountain biking and you can also cycle up the coast. It’s just stunning.”

Andrea Fawell said: “Responsible developers are going out of their way now to protect nature. For example, we are putting in sandstone walls for mining bees as well as hedgehog homes and a few reptile/amphibian hibernacula on the wildlife open space at Heatherfields, our development in Bordon. We want our homes to connect buyers to nature so that they can enjoy different habitats and rich wildlife community spaces, which is of course beneficial for physical and mental well-being, is a fantastic environment for children to grow up in and helps us to all thrive a little better.

“The importance of sustainability within the property industry is no longer niche and being closer to nature has never been more of a driving force behind out of city sales.”

Find out more about Cornelian Fields from Kebbell.


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