New research: three quarters of homebuyers would consider a Green Home

New research has shown that more than three quarters (77%) of people in the housing market are likely to choose a green home for their next purchase. 70% of people looking to get on, or move up, the housing ladder are also willing to pay more for better energy efficiency.

The ‘Green Homes Report: What Buyers Want’, commissioned by law firm Shakespeare Martineau, included a survey of more than 500 first time buyers and those on the property ladder looking to move into their next home this year.

Top reasons for wanting a green home included it’s ‘better for the environment’ (39%), it will ‘save me money in the long run’ (27%) and ‘I want to reduce my energy bills’ (35%). Neil Gosling, head of residential development at Shakespeare Martineau said:

“With bills high on the agenda of many homeowners, now is a good time to increase adoption of green home technology, ahead of 2025 building regulations for net zero coming into force.

Our research also shows that buyers are willing to pay more for features like renewable energy sources and energy-saving measures such as triple glazing – indicating a commercial incentive for developers.”

More than a third (34%) of homebuyers also wanted to reduce their carbon footprint and get ahead of the curve, stating: ‘I think eventually all homes will need to be green so I will pre-empt this.’

Despite a significant uptake, more than 1 in 3 (35%) respondents who were likely to purchase a green home said they wanted to understand more about how it would benefit them in the future, indicating a gap in knowledge and understanding.

Neil added:

“Housebuilders should be doing more to emphasise the health and economic benefits of green homes in their marketing.”

When it comes to availability, however, of those considering a green home, just 14% of respondents in the Midlands said there were green homes available in their desired location, compared to 25% and 24% in the North and South, respectively.

The results also show that age, social class and gender are influencing factors in demands and expectations of green homes.

The age group most likely to consider a green home is 35 to 44-year-olds at 84%, followed by 25 to 34-year-olds (78%).

More than three quarters (76%) of 18 to 24-year olds would opt for a green home, in contrast just 64% of respondents aged 45 and over.

Neil said:

“It’s probably no surprise that the millennial generation is most likely to opt for a green home. This leans into the stereotype that younger generations are more concerned about the environment and also reflects the ageing first time buyer population.”

First time buyers are more likely to consider a green home (80%), compared to 73% of second-time buyers. Currently the average age of a first time buyer is 34.

Six per cent of respondents said they were unlikely to choose a green home and 18% said they were neither likely nor unlikely.

Almost three quarters (72%) of those who were undecided said it was because they didn’t know enough about it, while 29% said they felt ‘indifferently’ about green homes.

When given a detailed description of what a green home is, 76% of people said they would be more likely to consider purchasing one for their next property.

Neil said:

“Our results show that not all is lost when it comes to getting more people on board with green homes. I believe those on the fence can be convinced with the right information and education.

As a sector, we should be leading with messages that hit both hearts and minds to turn the undecided few. But it’s also important we’re building homes with the features people value and in the locations people want.

Adoption of green homes at scale is a complex jigsaw that will require canvassing of Government, legislative changes and greater financial incentives for both consumers and those delivering the product. More must be done to encourage larger players in the industry to get behind the cause, so that maximum efficiencies are achieved in the future. There is also need for a significant educational and engagement piece with the public and wider supply chain.

For the short term the focus should be on fabrication of housing to secure green homes status, but the potential for positive change on a much larger scale is huge, should the pieces fall in to place.”