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5 Sustainability Trends to Look Out For in New Build Investment 2024

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    How the Property Industry is Prioritising Sustainability This Year

    Sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for buy-to-let property investors.

    Sustainable practices are not only better for the environment, but they also provide financial and practical benefits for both the owner and occupier of the property. Sustainability and energy efficiency have become significant parts of what to look for in a buy-to-let property.

    Data shows that there has been a shift in the new build sector towards sustainability, as research published by Knight Frank demonstrates that there has been a considerable rise in the proportion of new builds meeting the net zero threshold in the past decade.

    So, with that in mind, here are 5 trends to look out for in 2024 regarding sustainability in new build investments.

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      Green house model in a hand

      Green New Builds Will Start to Become Standard

      We have already seen a trend towards incorporating energy efficiency into the design of newly built properties, and this is predicted to become the norm from now on.

      There are already minimum energy efficiency ratings that rental properties have to satisfy, and the government has hinted that these may become more stringent in the future. Because of this, many developers have concluded that the best way to future-proof a property from future legislative changes is to make it as eco-friendly as possible from the start.

      But it’s not a case of stick and no carrot. Property investors have plenty of incentives to make their new build investment as energy-efficient as possible. Firstly, greener properties are popular with renters, who are willing to pay more rent to live in one. This may be due to eco-consciousness, but it’s also a way to keep their bills down. From the property owner’s perspective, energy-efficient properties will also often have lower running costs and require less maintenance. Why not read about how to make money from Property with our useful property investment guide.

      Sustainability has become a big priority when searching for the best property investment available, so this trend will start to solidify in 2024 and is likely to become standard practice in the future.

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      Sustainable Construction

      Designing with energy efficiency in mind and staying conscious of the development’s carbon footprint can help developers and investors work towards sustainable construction.

      Incorporating renewable energy into the design and construction as much as possible is also becoming more common for developers.

      According to Savills, there has also been a trend towards utilising sustainable and low-carbon-emitting construction materials and sustainably harvested wood in new builds. Choosing sustainably sourced wood can help reduce deforestation, and using recycled metals and plastics can keep materials in use.

      As awareness grows around sustainable construction practices, this trend seems to intensify in 2024.

      Further reading: We cover various topics in our guides and insights, such as Hull property investment and properties to rent in Bexley.

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      Environmental protection, renewable, sustainable energy sources. Plant growing in the bulb concept

      Water Conservation

      Water preservation and management are becoming more of a priority for property investors.

      Many of the latest new-build eco properties now include features like rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, smart irrigation, and leak detection systems. These systems conserve water resources and reduce mains water consumption.

      Like many of these trends, there are financial and ethical perks. According to Money Saving Expert, reducing water use can shave £100s off a household’s monthly water bills. Reducing bills wherever possible has become an essential consideration for renters since the UK energy crisis, so this, and other cost-cutting eco-features, will likely stay on the up this year.

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        Smart City Initiatives

        Looking beyond individual properties, a recent Savills report suggests that the real estate industry also has a large part to play in innovative city initiatives.

        The idea behind smart cities is that they will improve efficiency in urban areas and improve the welfare of the citizens. In creating a smart city, sustainability and reducing emissions will be prioritised moving forward, and environmental benefits will be delivered to the city’s residents. For smart cities to work, there needs to be collaboration between the area’s private and public sectors and residents.

        The shift towards smart cities is already taking place in the UK, with London already named “Europe’s smartest city”.

        Savills states that the property industry will play a role by ‘contributing to liveable, inclusive and resilient urban environments’, and this trend will begin taking shape in 2024.

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          Renewable Energy Infrastructure

          As renewable energy infrastructure gains more investment and the energy landscape becomes more sustainable, there will be more renewable energy to draw from and incorporate into new build developments.

          Solar panels, wind turbines and other sustainable practices are rising and will likely become more common in 2024.

          If you want to learn more about the UK’s various buy-to-let hotspots, take a look at some of our property investment area guides covering topics such as buy-to-let property in Bournemouth and Peterborough investment properties.

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          Jessica Ferris

          Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.