As energy bills rise, and house prices start to come down, it makes good sense to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible – in more ways than one.
Everyone is keeping an eye on their energy use at the moment and working out what they can do to make their home as green as possible. And now, the Dutch real estate agents association NVM has come up with some interesting research which shows that having a well-insulated, low-energy home is important for more than just cutting the gas bill.
Every house needs to have an energy label before you can sell it – ranging from an A++++ to a G. An energy label might seem like a pointless piece of paper – but the NVM found a good label really does give a premium on the house price.
For example, a house with a C label is now selling for 11.6% more than a similar property with a G label. Between homes with A and E labels, the difference is as much as 14.6%. Given current house prices, that can mean tens of thousands of euros.
More than that, energy-efficient homes sell more quickly than those without much in the way of double glazing or insulation and buyers are more likely to bid over the asking price.
And with house prices now going down slightly – almost a 6% drop between the second and third quarters of this year – homes with a good energy label are also retaining more of their value.
All in all, there are plenty of reasons to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible!
You may not realise it, but if you are taking out a new mortgage, you can borrow an extra €9,000 – on top of the maximum 100% loan to value – to make your house greener. You can’t spend it on a new central heating boiler, but you can use it to help pay for double glazing, extra insulation, or a heat pump and solar panels.
Even if your new house is well insulated – if it has an energy label B, for example – there is always something you can do to improve it. And the bank will allow you to borrow this extra amount, even if you can’t technically afford it.
If you already have a mortgage, you may well be able to extend it to pay for energy-saving measures. Some banks explicitly offer this option and may also offer a discount to people buying a home with an A or B energy label. The government also wants to ensure people aiming to buy a low-energy home can get a higher mortgage from 2024.
All in all, making sure your home is as energy efficient as possible is not just about gas prices, it’s about adding value to your house because one day, you may want to sell.
In the meantime, don’t forget that interest rates are still way below inflation, so it is still a perfectly good time to buy and to borrow a little extra to make your home a little greener. It’s an investment that will improve your financial position in the long term.