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Houses with good EPCs sell for more, claims government

Houses with good EPCs sell for more, claims government

Homes with good EPCs are worth on average 14% more.

This claim – which is interesting, since our readers constantly tell us that no one looks at EPCs when buying – comes from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which says that making energy improvements to a property could boost its value by even more than the average, by as much as 38%.

For an average home, improving its EPC from band G to E, or from band D to B, could mean adding more than £16,000 to the sale price of the property.

In the North-East, improved energy efficiency from band G to E could increase this value by over £25,000 and the average home in the North-West could see £23,000 added to its value.

The DECC's report, which took into account over 300,000 property sales in England between 1995 and 2011, says that its research ‘indicates’ that energy efficiency is now a key factor influencing the sale price of most residential dwellings in England.

Energy and Climate Change minister Greg Barker said: “We have long known the benefits of making energy saving improvements to the home, but this study is real evidence of the huge potential rewards.

“Not only can energy efficient improvements help protect you against rising energy prices, but they can also add real value to your property. This coalition is committed to helping hard-working families with the cost of living. The Green Deal is designed to do exactly that.

“The Green Deal is helping more people make these types of home improvements, reducing high upfront costs and letting people pay for some the cost through the savings on their bills. The Green Deal is a great option for anyone wanting to improve the look, feel and potentially the value of their home.”

Kevin McCloud, broadcaster and co-founder of the Grand Designs Future Living home retrofit company, said: “There are some 26 million homes in Britain, most of them about as well insulated as a rabbit hutch, and they need immediate help to be made less wasteful.

“This timely report tells us what we suspected all along: that people really value the well-insulated, energy-efficient home; that modest investment in measures to make our homes more comfortable, healthier and cheaper-to-run really pays off.”

Nearly half (46%) of properties in England are currently band D.

A helpful note at the bottom of the DECC information says: “An Investigation of the Effect of EPC Ratings on House Prices is a report for the Department of Energy and Climate Change by Franz Fuerst, University of Cambridge; Pat McAllister, University of College London; Anupam Nanda, University of Reading; and Peter Wyatt, University of Reading. The report has not yet undergone full peer review.”

EAT isn’t sure whether we count as a peer, but we thought we’d review the 40-page document anyway.

This proved something of an intellectual feat, given various mathematical formulae and phrases (hedonic regression modelling, anyone?).

However, just to save you several hours of your life (you see, EAT does think of you!), the report does seem remarkably inconclusive, picking its words carefully: for example, “the results suggest that there is a positive relationship between energy rating and dwelling price per square metre”.

Doesn’t it really mean that homes that have had a bit of love, money and elbow grease spent on them are more appealing to buyers than those that haven’t – and are also more likely to have loft insulation?

However, no doubt EAT readers have their own views on this one.

We would also like to point out that the Green Deal currently has just 200 takers – some way short of the 10,000 the Government planned to have signed up for by the end of this year.