UK buyers willing to pay more for an eco home, research suggests

A large number of would be home buyers in the UK want to purchase an environmentally friendly home, with the majority willing to pay more to do so.

Some 63% want to go green and 82% would be more for a home that allows them to fulfil an ambition of greener living, according to research from leading UK house builder Redrow.

The survey found that participants ranked lower energy bills as more important than a garden, parking space, amenities, external appeal/design of home, and fittings and appliances, when choosing a home and more than a quarter were willing to pay at least a 6% premium for a home with sustainable features.

The research has challenged the long held claim that consumer demand for greener living is limited and 78% agreed the purchase of a sustainable home was likely to have a positive environmental impact and more than two thirds believed that 'significant others' in their lives would approve of the decision to opt for a greener home.

‘Our findings challenge the long claimed, but previously under researched, belief that there is limited customer demand for sustainable homes,’ said Redrow Homes' sustainability manager Nicola Johansen.

‘As a responsible business, reducing the carbon footprint of our developments is a priority. However, we also recognise it's important to listen to our customers so we can build the homes they really want to live in and help them to make a lifestyle change for the better. This research helps us to fully appreciate what purchasers are looking for from their home and their home builder,’ she added.

With 60% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they would be more likely to buy a new home from a company building sustainable homes, the evidence suggests that constructing more environmentally friendly properties, and promoting their credentials, could be a wise business choice for developers.

The study also highlighted some areas where home builders can help their customers by providing more information about the eco credentials of properties that are already on the market.

While the majority of home buyers, 65%, were confident an 'eco-home' would save them money and 65% that it would be a more comfortable home, a quarter indicated they thought it would be difficult or very difficult to buy such a home and almost half of respondents weren't confident of how sustainability features work.

‘This helps us build on our knowledge of what our customers are looking for from their home so we can provide them with the relevant information to inform their purchasing decisions,’ said Johansen.

Redrow builds a wide variety of homes and designs take on issues such as being more airtight, making them 54% better at reducing heat loss than a typical 1970s' home. The firm says it’s homes also deliver improved energy efficiency through low energy lighting, appliances that are 'A rated' or above and energy efficient boilers to keep carbon emissions low.

Redrow also offers customers solar panels as optional extras, as well as other eco-friendly options such as compost bins and water butts.