The United Nations issued a stark warning in 2018, stating that we have just 12 years to limit a climate catastrophe. And it seems that climate change hasn’t strayed far from the news agenda since this announcement, in part due to the growing popularity of movements such as Extinction Rebellion and School Strike for Climate.
When we think of industries that need to make changes to help the environment, property might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But there are many ways in which the property market can help to limit its carbon footprint, and of course numerous ways in which properties can be adapted to improve their individual environmental impact.
The latest research by TwentyCi reported on the health of the property market as a whole, and in doing so it revealed some interesting insights into the availability of environmentally-friendly properties. When looking at homes sold in the past year, we noticed a small proportion with some intriguing green features. Let’s take a look at some of the top eco-friendly features of properties sold in 2019.
Underfloor heating has long been lauded as a space-saving, convenient way of heating a home. But did you know that it’s also very environmentally-friendly?
As underfloor heating is spread throughout a vast area of floor space, the heating system runs at a much lower temperature than traditional radiators. That’s great news for the environment, and it saves homeowners money too.
In 2019 385,122 houses with underfloor heating systems were sold. This number has risen substantially over the years, and we don’t doubt that future reports will see a continued increase in the numbers of homes equipped with this efficient heating system.
Those looking to drastically limit their carbon footprint and improve the environment for future generations are increasingly building their own eco-friendly homes. Whilst eco-friendly homes remain relatively rare when compared to traditional homes, there are now far more of these carbon neutral properties than there were ten years ago. In 2019, 369 eco-friendly homes changed hands.
When we look at the carbon emissions of the construction industry, it’s not surprising that eco-conscious buyers are opting for new eco-friendly homes. The construction industry is responsible for 40% of worldwide carbon emissions, which is why so many architects are now presenting new, sustainable ways of building homes that offset this huge carbon footprint. New eco-friendly homes include everything from solar panels and wind turbines to efficient lighting and insulation, recycling facilities and water conservation systems.
Here in the UK, we’re no strangers to a bit of rain. So, it makes perfect sense that we should be making good use of the water that falls from the skies!
Our research found that 90 properties sold in 2019 were fully equipped with a rainwater recycling system. Systems like these turn rainwater into usable water, which can be pumped through taps, baths and showers in exactly the same way as a traditional water system. Of course rainwater recycling systems are fantastic for the environment, helping to save huge amounts of water. But they also save homeowners a fortune! Just imagine not having to pay a water bill every month.
In 2019, we saw a considerable increase in the numbers of properties advertised as eco-friendly. With more and more people taking notice of the environmental impact of their lifestyles, eco-friendly property features are becoming ever more important. There are so many ways to improve the carbon footprint of a household, with ideas ranging from simple fixes to large-scale work.
TwentyCi’s research found that many properties sold in 2019 offered money-saving, green alternatives to traditional systems, and that these proved popular with buyers. Learn more about the properties that changed hands over the course of 2019 (up to September 2019) in the full report. Read the TwentyEA's highlights for Estate Agents here.