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Aug 2023

More significant incentives needed to retrofit homes

More significant incentives needed to retrofit homes

A new report from Rightmove suggests that more significant incentives need to become available to help home-owners and landlords with the cost of making green improvements to help them bring down running costs. Higher energy bills have contributed to one in five tenants (19%) and one in five first-time buyers (19%) saying a property’s energy efficiency will be a major factor when looking for their next home.

Housing and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has indicated that landlords could be given more time to improve their properties, but clarity on the plan is needed as Rightmove’s research has found 40% of landlords with one property currently say they are more likely to sell than make improvements. Stamp duty rebates and more significant mortgage and remortgage incentives could be considered to help with the costs of making green improvements.

Rightmove’s data shows that if green improvements carry on at the same rate, it will take 43 years for 100% of the houses that are currently for sale across Great Britain to reach an EPC rating of A-C, and 31 years for houses that are currently available to rent. Sellers who have improved their home from an EPC rating of an F up to a C could command an average price premium of almost £56,000 (+15%) on top of the local house price growth. Property listings for sale that mention electric car charging points are up by 592% versus 2019. Landlords are increasingly shunning lower rated properties, with 61% saying they would not now buy a rental property below an EPC rating of C, up from 47% when asked last year.

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