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Landlords: champions of energy efficiency, house prices, boosting the value of your home and other UK property news

Property news continues to feed into many of the UK’s media headlines – whether that’s the movement in UK average house prices, progress towards energy efficiency, electrical vehicle (EV) charging points, or even ways to boost the value of your home post-pandemic.

Let’s take a peek below the surface of some of these stories.

Landlords appear ahead of the game for EPCs and energy efficiency

When it comes to residential Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and energy efficiency matters in general, landlords are evidently ahead of the game, according to research cited by Landlord Today on the 11th of November.

The story refers to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which has praised the proactivity of landlords in the private rented sector for the way they appear to have embraced energy efficiency matters.

English properties in this sector scored an average total of 66 points, according to the research, while in Wales the average was 64 points – giving both a D rated EPC.

This is well above the minimum E rating, which is most likely to be achieved by properties in England that were built before 1900, where the average energy efficiency score is only 54, or the average score of 51 achieved by such properties in Wales.

UK house prices hit record high last month

The House Price Index compiled by the Halifax building society and published on the 5th of November recorded a highest-ever average house price of £270,027.

Prices rose throughout October – adding a further £2,500 to average prices in that month alone or an increase of 0.9%. In the year to the end of October, the annual rate of increase stood at 8.1%, achieving the highest growth since June and an increase in average prices for the fourth month in a row.

The continued rise in prices, fired by an imbalance between buoyant demand and faltering supply, is evidence of an unrelenting “race for space”, say market analysts as buyers look for bigger homes in the suburbs or countryside and away from city centres.

Average house prices continue to rise across England, but the rates of increase are more marked in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Increase in the number of homes for sale with EV charging points

A charging point for an electric vehicle (EV) is an increasingly important priority for homebuyers, according to a story in the Mail Online on the 4th of November.

The volume of homes for sale with either a charging point on the property or in a street nearby has grown by 541% during the last 12 months, says the article, and a third of the advertised homes had their EV credentials upgraded only since September.

Underlying the growing demand for EV charging points, during an address to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on the 22nd of November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised that all new homes released onto the market in the UK would be required to have such a facility.

As part of the government’s ambitious plans, supermarkets and places of work would also be required to offer EV charging points. Where major buildings are undergoing extensive renovation and upgrading, these too will be required to incorporate EV charging points.

The post-pandemic property features which can boost your house value

In an article on the 11th of November, Introducer Today revealed some of the features most sought-after by homebuyers at present – and which could, therefore, add value to your house:

  • with more homeowners spending more hours at home rather than in the office post-pandemic, a home gym has become a highly-prized amenity – and could add as much as an extra 44% (£116,267 given current house price averages) onto the value of your home;
  • indeed, any kind of extension onto the original footprint of your home is likely to add value – as much as £97,770 given average prices at the moment;
  • strangely, perhaps, the third most sought-after feature is a walk-in wardrobe – capable of adding an extra £89,843 (24%) onto the value of your home;
  • newly fitted kitchens have always been a favourite among house hunters and updating and upgrading yours could bring in an extra £69,000;
  • a swimming pool, on the other hand, is likely to add £58,000, while landscaping your garden might add £53,000; and
  • converting your basement, building a loft extension, erecting a conservatory, or repaving the driveway could add £45,000, £28,538, £26,000, and £23,782 respectively.

All in all, you are likely to be surprised quite how much today’s homebuyers are prepared to pay for the most highly prized features.

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