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Sustainable Housing More Favourable in the UK Property Market

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    Property Investors Move Towards Sustainable Housing in UK Housing Market

    The property market is changing following a turbulent few years for the UK economy. While housing has held firm against various economic incidents, British buy-to-let investors and developers are noticing new trends regarding preferred property types.

    According to the latest research, buyers are forgoing previously popular period houses when they buy property to let. Instead, more investors now favour new builds and eco-friendly properties that help them save money on their energy bills.


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      Eco-Properties & New Builds Important to Buyers in the UK Property Market

      Recent research from Shawbrook reveals that 67% of landlords acknowledge a decline in the attractiveness of period properties over the past decade.

      Influenced by the pandemic and recent economic uncertainties like high inflation and interest rates, the changing property market landscape is prompting buyers to reassess their priorities to combat rising costs and increased energy bills.

      Regarding developers’ thoughts on residential properties, 80% emphasised the growing importance of sustainable housing in the eyes of buyers.

      Additionally, 77% observed an uptick in the popularity of new builds, with an equal percentage highlighting location as the paramount factor driving property sales.

      According to Shawbrook’s data, 72% of developers expect a rising demand for community-oriented living, while the same number of developers noted a shift in preferences regarding proximity to offices.

      This data follows a recent study that saw city centre apartments becoming increasingly popular among buyers choosing between a buy-to-let flat or house. This is because more people are returning to the office following an extended period of hybrid or remote work.

      In cities like Liverpool, investors can see the impact of the emerging trend in the off-plan market.

      In September 2023, ELEMENT – The Quarter became the first eco-property in the city, sitting on the edge of the innovative Knowledge Quarter, close to the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the university campuses.

      Legacie Developments also uses sustainable tech and eco-friendly materials in its upcoming development, The Gateway, Liverpool – a series of four skyscrapers in Liverpool’s fast-rising Northern Quarter.

      Read More: If you want to learn more about the UK buy-to-let market, check out our guide on buying a house in the UK as a foreigner. Alternatively, you can read our article on how to make money from property in the UK.

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      What Do Developers Think Will Affect Decisions in the Housing Market?

      The Shawbrook research also highlighted several other influencing factors in buyers’ decisions.

      These include:

      • Period properties have lost their appeal over the past decade.
      • The disappearance of the concept of a ‘starter home.’
      • Indifference towards whether properties are built on greenfield or brownfield sites.
      • Multi-generational living is emerging as the next prominent trend in residential property.

      Furthermore, developers anticipate cost-saving motives behind emerging trends, supported by the fact that 21% foresee a surge in eco-housing, aligning with buyers’ growing desire for sustainable and cost-effective living.

      Find Out More: Make sure you are prepared for investing in real estate in the UK with our property investment calculator!

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        What Did Shawbrook Say About Buyer Requirements Regarding UK Property?

        MD of Development Finance at Shawbrook, Terry Woodley, said the following:

        “It’s interesting to see how the current, challenging landscape is shaping new trends and changes in buyers’ requirements. Though they can be full of character and look attractive, many older, period properties possess lower EPC ratings, cost more to run and would require significant investment to make them more efficient and sustainable.

        “It’s clear that developers are having to change tact to ensure their strategies cater for shifting demands, which will be a key component to ensuring their businesses are future-proof amidst rising costs and high-interest rates. Having a flexible funding partner who understands the challenges and fluctuating demand will help developers shore up their plans.”

        Learn More: Make sure you understand the wider UK buy-to-let market with some of our helpful area guides, including:

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        Dale Barham

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