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Energy-efficient homes still top of house hunters’ lists

Despite the current housing market remaining somewhat uncertain and mortgage interest rates due to hit a 15-year high, new research by YouGov (on behalf of Blenheim Estate Homes and Pye Homes) has revealed that an energy-efficient home is one of the most important factors for UK house hunters looking to make savings wherever possible.

Of those surveyed, 64% said they would want solar panels to be fitted as standard to a new home; 42% said homes with EV charging points were a must-have; and 35% said an air source heat pump was top of their list.

Air source heat pumps are believed to be 60% more effective at reducing carbon emissions and have the potential to save homeowners money on monthly heating bills, compared to a conventional boiler.

In addition, a massive 71% surveyed felt that high-quality insulation was a deciding factor when looking for a new home.

Alex Rose, Director of Corporate Agency and New Homes at Zoopla commented: “Rising energy costs and an increased awareness of climate change are beginning to impact the priorities of home buyers. For environmentally conscious buyers, new-build homes are a great choice. Not only are they more energy-efficient – but they also cost less to run and can save you 52% on energy costs over a year in comparison to resale homes.

“This trend is something we expect to see continue in years to come as the government introduces additional policies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.”

For buyers looking for a home which puts energy efficiency first, Pye Homes’ Church Farm development in Radley, Oxfordshire ticks all the boxes. This sustainable community, built in partnership with Radley College, is championing a greener way of life.  Air source heat pumps, in-roof solar panels and homes which are electric vehicle charging point ready, are just some of the features putting this eco-friendly development on house hunters’ radars. This exciting development will comprise 240 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, as well as cycle paths, green spaces and a play area in and amongst the wildflowers.

Graham Flint, Managing Director of Pye Homes commented: “Like our customers, we are always looking to the future, and our goal is to provide homes which are truly made for life. This research shows the importance of continuing to build homes which are highly energy-efficient, not only for the environmental factor, but to ensure our homes continue to appeal to buyers with an evolving list of requirements as the market changes.”

According to Money Saving Expert*, a growing number of mainstream lenders are now offering so-called green mortgages. For buyers moving into an energy-efficient home with a high EPC rating, such as those at Church Farm, lenders will reward them with a better interest rate or cashback on the mortgage.

Lenders are willing to offer this type of incentive because they increasingly see energy-efficient properties – in this era of combating climate change – as less risky purchases and more likely to hold their value. Plus, if a homeowner is spending less on their energy bills each month, there’s less of a chance they’ll struggle to meet their mortgage repayments.

For residents John Parrott, aged 69, and his wife Jill, age 62, greener living was top of their list. Pye Homes’ Church Farm development in Radley, Oxfordshire, won them over with its eco-friendly credentials. After living in their home for one year, they have managed to save 600KWh on their energy bills.

Church Farm ticked every box for the couple. John explained: “We’d already made steps to reduce our impact on the environment, from collecting rainwater to use in the garden to drying our clothes outside in the warmer months. Initially, a newly-built home hadn’t even occurred to us, but we soon realised the eco-friendly features made it easier for us to live thoughtfully than to retrofit an existing property. We were attracted by Church Farm’s sustainability credentials. On our first visit to Church Farm, we had a good look around and we immediately knew we wanted to live here.”

Church Farm is just an eight-minute walk from the village centre which is home to a primary school, community shop, village hall and a traditional country pub. The Hanson Way cycle route runs directly through Radley, providing a scenic journey between Oxford and Didcot. Radley train station can be reached in an equal amount of time and provides a direct route to Oxford in eight minutes whilst London Paddington can be reached in just 57 minutes via Didcot Parkway. The A34 can be reached in 14 minutes by car and provides access to the rest of the Southeast.

A new phase has just launched at Church Farm, with prices starting from £540,000 for a three-bedroom home.

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Editors’ Notes Blenheim Estate has been landowners for more than three centuries, and it is their ambition to build homes and create thriving communities for people to enjoy now and in the future. In 2018, Blenheim Estate entered a long-standing partnership with Pye Homes, a Kidlington-based firm established in 1927 with strong community ties across the region. Park View in Woodstock was launched by Blenheim Estate in 2018 and is set to deliver 300 houses. Pye Homes also has homes available to buy across two developments: Church Farm and Temple Gate. Church Farm is set in the village of Radley and is set to deliver 240 new homes. Temple Gate in the village of Marcham will comprise 47 new homes. Our ambition and vision is not to simply build beautiful homes, it is to create thriving communities. We have a deep-rooted relationship with the villages and communities which surround Blenheim and feel a moral obligation to enhance their value, and to improve our shared prosperity. When it comes to developing our land to create homes – places where people enjoy living and working – we have a responsibility, and the ability, as well as the desire to act quite differently. We want to plan and build patiently, so that new homes become part of the existing fabric. Using materials and designs which fit with the local style gives visual harmony, as well as a more sustainable way of building, because these are things that have stood the test of time.

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