Going green can help sell your home
With the average price of homes dropping by a bigger than expected £7,000 last month many people may be put off moving.
But Midlands energy expert Ron Fox says there are still many encouraging signs in the property market and would-be sellers need to act now to put their homes up for sale over Easter.
A survey by Halifax showed that average prices in January fell by 2.9 per cent from £230,430 to £223,691 because of fears over Brexit.
However, in the previous month the bank found that prices had risen by 2.5 per cent and on an annual basis they were still 0.8 per cent higher in the three months to January after a 1.3 per cent rise in the previous three months.
Meanwhile the Bank of England cut its forecast but still expected house prices to rise by 0.25 per cent per quarter over the next three quarters.
“I am confident that the housing market will pick up once the uncertainty over Brexit is sorted,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk), “and housing websites are still having record visits.”
But he warned that buyers’ tastes are changing. They still want space, proximity to transport, good schools and shops, but now they also want good broadband as more people are working from home and to see improvements that will save money on their bills.
“If buyers are torn between two properties and one is much more energy efficient that could be the deciding factor,” he added.
He said that figures by the Department of Energy and Climate Change indicate that improving energy efficiency can increase the value of a home.
“Now is the time for a vendor to get the work done ready to put their home on the market by Easter and it won’t cost them a fortune,” said Ron.
Firstly, a vendor should get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), by contacting a Domestic Energy Assessor such as Ron. This rates a home’s energy efficiency from G to A and which sellers must now have.
About half of homes in the UK are rated D, but improving your EPC from band D to B adds £16,000 on average to the sale price, according to the Government.
The two simplest ways to boost your home’s rating is firstly ensure that the loft insulation is at least 270mm thick and secondly that it has cavity wall insulation.
“Most new-build properties have an EPC rating of C or B,” said Ron, “but few homes reach A. It is relatively easy to boost your home from G to E or from E to D but to get a rating of A you need to start producing your own electricity or hot water using solar panels, solar thermal or air-source heat pumps.”