30 Mar 2022

Brits go Bijou to Save on Energy Bills

New research from Purplebricks reveals over half of house hunters are prepared to downsize to save on energy bills
Brits go Bijou to Save on Energy Bills
  • Energy efficiency is now considered a more important feature than a large garden or a home office 

  • 60% of those downsizing are doing so to reduce household bills

  • A good EPC rating now adds around £2,800 to a property’s value

  • 10% are considering moving because their current home isn’t energy efficient enough - rising to 22% for those in Yorkshire & Humber (but just 2% of those in the South West)


30th March 2022 - New research from Purplebricks, the leading UK tech-led estate agent, reveals that over half of house hunters surveyed - 65% of men and 49% of women - would be prepared to downsize if it was energy efficient to do so. Of those who are in the process of downsizing, 60% are doing so specifically to reduce household bills. 


Perhaps unsurprisingly, over a quarter (26%) of 45-54 year olds and almost 3 in 10 (29%) of those aged 55 and over are looking to downsize - but the trend is even taking hold among those aged 16-24, 10% of whom are downsizing. As household bills look set to soar, this is a significant shift away from the recent “race-for-space” trend seen among homebuyers. 


Cost of living worries


When it comes to living costs, the research shows that people surveyed are most concerned about rising energy rates (87%) ahead of rising food costs (83%), rising interest rates and council tax (both 81%) and the cost of home improvements (72%).


In a strong sign that homebuyer priorities are changing, 80% of respondents say that having an energy efficient home is more important than having a large garden (74%), utility room (65%) or office space (57%).  81% agree that energy efficiency is more important to them than it was five years ago. 


Concerns over rising energy rates are so acute that 10% of those considering moving are doing so because their current home isn’t energy efficient enough - rising to 22% for those in Yorkshire & Humber - but just 2% of those in the South West.


EPC Ratings now important 


Today’s research reveals a major shift in sentiment towards EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates), with 80% thinking a good EPC rating is important when choosing a new home and 43% saying they would pay more for a property with a good EPC rating, rising to 48% of 25-34 year olds. Respondents would pay, on average, £2,770 more for a property with a good EPC rating.


This is a new trend due to the current awareness of rising energy bills, with previous research showing that homebuyers were not concerned about EPC ratings: the 2021 Greener Homes Attitudes Tracker from NatWest and IHS Markit revealed only 15% of households believed having an EPC rating of C or above was essential to choosing a property. 


Energy efficient features boost property prices


Energy saving features in a property are highly valued by house hunters. Almost half (46%) would pay more for double glazing, with the average respondent prepared to pay £2,850 more for a double glazed home than without it, rising to £4,050 in Greater London. 41% would pay more for solar panels and 44% for insulation, with the average respondent prepared to pay £3,450 for a property with solar panels. 


Tom Greenacre, Purplebricks managing director comments, “Our research shows that people’s concerns over increasing energy bills is now translating into real action. Some are taking the significant step of downsizing their home and are moving somewhere smaller to save on household bills - a reversal of the “race for space” we saw at the start of the pandemic. For house hunters worried about energy bills, it’s worth remembering that EPC certificates are extremely useful tools when considering purchasing a property, especially now that energy efficient homes are growing in popularity.”



- ENDS - 





The research was conducted by Censuswide from 25th February 2022 - 3rd March 2022 of 1,014 people in the UK looking to move home in the next 12 months.

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