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Energy Efficiency: How Do Apartments Compare to Houses?

Energy efficiency of apartments

Homebuyer demands are ever-changing, and the pandemic has seen a huge shift in requirements in recent years. In light of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the UK government has imposed new regulations for homebuilders which requires all new builds to emit at least 30% less C02 emissions that older properties.

In addition to this, the current energy price increases raised household bills for millions of people, heightening consumer awareness of energy efficiency, elevating it to become a key consideration when buying property.

Here, we compare the energy efficiency of apartments and houses to make the homebuyer decision making process easier.

Energy efficiency as a homebuyer consideration

With recent energy price increases in both April and October this year, energy efficiency and the financial benefits it brings is at the forefront of the minds of house hunters now more than ever, particularly first-time buyers looking to keep their living costs low.

In fact, a recent survey by Knight Frank revealed that 86% of respondents now rated the energy efficiency of a property as either “important” or “very important”. This echoes the results of a new study conducted by Savills which revealed that 71% of prospective buyers cited a property’s energy performance certificate (EPC) rating as playing a crucial role in their purchase decisions.

The Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) 2022 UK Housing Review highlights that, at present, just 42% of properties are currently rated EPC C or higher.

So, how do residential apartment buildings compare to houses?

Apartments vs Houses

According to the Office for National Statistics, apartments and maisonettes were the most energy efficient property type in both England and Wales, with a median energy efficiency score of 72, equivalent to band C. Detached and semi-detached houses scored the lowest of all property types with scores of just 63.

Energy use in apartments tends to be lower than all types of houses because the overall living space can be smaller, meaning less energy is required to heat or cool the space. This, paired with the fewer exposed walls and denser living areas also mean that heat retention is a lot more effective in apartment buildings.

Apartments also have the added convenience of being closer to city centre amenities which is another key homebuyer consideration. It is for this reason that the property market is seeing a resurgence in the demand for apartments for sale against larger properties, particularly with first-time buyers.

New builds vs old properties

Due to changing building techniques and government regulations, when a property was built can have a significant impact on how energy efficient it is.

Data from ONS highlighted that new property developments, apartments and homes (those built from 2012 onwards) had a higher median energy efficiency score than older properties. This resulted in median estimated energy cost per year for an existing dwelling in England was £797, compared to  just £390 for a new build property.

This was further corroborated by Savills who, using a combination of EPC and HM Land Registry data, calculated the projected cost comparison between owning a new-build and an existing home, with property owners expected to save on average £4,900 with a new build over five years.

Built to modern standards, new build properties are well-equipped with the latest technology and innovation to help reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in line with governments’ net-zero targets. Such features include low energy lighting, highly efficient heating systems and high-performance windows and doors. According to research conducted by Savills, the most common EPC rating for a new build apartment is EPC B, whereas for an older apartment, the most common rating was EPC C.

New Property Developments

SevenCapital are proud to present a range of new build property developments in Birmingham and the South East, each built to a high specification and fitted with premium heating and electrical appliances from leading UK manufacturers, meaning energy efficiency won’t be a problem for residents.

Find out more about all our property developments, here.

Sustainability at SevenCapital

SevenCapital are proud to provide high specification apartments for sale and are fitted with the latest energy saving equipment.

We also specialise in urban regeneration, meaning we actively seek to utilise brownfield land for each of our property developments in line with our overarching sustainability focus as a Group.

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