Increasing numbers of buyers searching for eco-friendly homes - claim

Increasing numbers of buyers searching for eco-friendly homes - claim

Home hunters are increasingly searching for eco-friendly homes amid concerns about rising energy bills, figures suggest.

New data from Legal & General Mortgage Club has uncoverd a 34% uptick in searches for eco-friendly homes in July alone.

The figures are based on the types of mortgages that brokers are searching for through the network, with increasing numbers now seeking home loans that consider a property’s energy performance certificate rating.

It comes as the energy price cap is set to pass £3,000 in October, while new Prime Minister Liz Truss is reported to be coming up with plans to freeze gas and electricity bills.

Elsewhere, brokers continue to see high demand from overseas buyers.

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.

As in June, most searches were also made on behalf of applicants with a visa. 

Searches for expatriates that aren’t based in the UK also rose by just under a fifth, Legal & General Mortgage Club said.

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.

Kevin Roberts, director of mortgage services for Legal & General, said: “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. 

“This includes an increasing number of expatriates and EU citizens seeking UK mortgages. 

“This month’s data also shows that 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.”