Homebuyers 'swayed by green features'Environmental issues high on list of priorities

10 April 2007

Environmentally friendly features are more likely to attract homebuyers than more 'traditional' home improvement, according to a report out today.

Research from Nationwide Building Society found that 82 per cent of respondents claimed that a house with items such as solar panels would influence their decision to buy.

This compares with 68 per cent who were swayed by an attic room, 63 per cent by period features and 62 per cent by walk-in wardrobes.

A survey of around 1,000 homeowners also recorded respondents' views on what they deemed to be important when it came to deciding on an area to live in.

A pleasant neighbourhood was the factor deemed important by the biggest number of people in the survey, with 97 per cent saying it would influence them.

Price rise

It came ahead of being in a good school catchment and the likelihood that prices would rise in the area, which were seen to be important by 41 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

When asked what would put them off, 94 per cent said being at a potential risk of flooding would deter them, while nine in ten said poor building work or DIY would put them off.

Just under 90 per cent said being near a busy road or railway line would affect their decision to buy.

Fionnuala Earley, chief economist at Nationwide, said: 'It is great to see that, given the choice, most of us would opt for a 'green' home, although there is currently no evidence to suggest that environmentally friendly properties command a higher price.

'Having said that, with the recent publication of the Government's climate change bill and the pressure on households to become more energy efficient, it is inevitable that environmental home improvements will have some impact on house prices over the long-term.'

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