Surging energy prices sees searches for eco-friendly homes rise

With the recent surge in gas and electricity prices causing widespread concern, there has been a notable increase in the number of searches by people potentially looking to buy eco-friendly homes.

Following the recent surge in energy bills, searches for mortgages that consider EPC ratings increased by 34% in July alone, according to new data from Legal & General’s SmartrCriteria tool.

Kevin Roberts, director of mortgage services at Legal & General, said: “Some buyers are considering eco-friendly products and making greener choices. We are still very much in the early stages of the green revolution, but it seems safe to assume that rising energy bills have prompted more buyers to consider the financial benefits of opting for greener homes.

“While volumes remain low for now, brokers and lenders have a key part to play in raising awareness of green products and educating borrowers about EPCs, retrofitting, and other associated factors.”

The data from Legal & General also reveals that brokers continue to see high demand from overseas buyers. To this end, searches for expatriates or EU citizens in the UK rocketed by 25% in July. This was mirrored by a 14% increase in searches for borrowers with foreign income.

Demand for niche products also remained high in July, with searches for buyers looking to purchase retirement properties and second homes climbing by 26% and 17% respectively. With Help to Buy drawing to a close in spring 2023, searches for those looking to purchase a home under the scheme rose by 18%.

The data also confirms that family members continue to play a crucial role in supporting first-time buyers. As such, ‘joint borrower sole proprietor’ was the sixth most popular criteria point in July.

“It’s reassuring to see the market retain its momentum despite wider economic pressure. In some areas, such as the overseas market, demand is even rising,” said Roberts. “This includes an increasing number of expatriates and EU citizens seeking UK mortgages.”



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