The firm has analysed its sales data for the past 12 months and reports that properties with a good energy performance rating and features such as solar panels, good insulation, or a ground-source heat pump command a higher price on average.
Of 175 houses currently for sale through Galbraith, the average asking price of those with the best energy efficiency rating (bands A-C) is £504,231 while those with the poorest energy efficiency (bands D and E) is £479,336 – a difference of 5.1 per cent.
Of 1,115 houses sold by the firm in the past twelve months, the difference is even more striking, with 17.1 per cent more being paid for energy efficient homes (£594,005 on average) compared with those in the lower bands (£506,864).
Part of the reason for the margin is the work required to upgrade or modernise the least energy efficient homes, however the keen demand from buyers is also a factor which boosts the sale price of highly-rated and eco-homes.
David Corrie, head of residential property for Galbraith said: “Energy efficiency has been the story of the year in 2022 – more and more buyers are keen to cut their carbon footprint as well as reducing their energy bills.
“Our data suggests that energy-efficient properties do command a premium, which will be good news for home-owners who have invested in their property.
“Energy efficiency is a topic which comes up early on in conversation. Buyers are keen to see if they can cut their bills and live more sustainably. Many are considering installing solar panels or a heat pump.”
One recent sale in Dumfries & Galloway, The Old Hall at Bargrennan, was under offer within 10 days and attracted significant interest. A major part of its appeal was its energy efficiency, with features including glazing designed to provide solar gain, a specialist woodburning stove which stores and releases heat gradually, and solar panels, for which the owners had a feed-in tariff agreement extending 18 years into the future.
Blair House, which was sold by Galbraith in the spring, is one of the most energy-efficient eco homes ever on the market in Perthshire. The property benefited from a low carbon design with features such as natural fibre thermal insulation, triple glazing, and passive stack ventilation with heat recovery. Hot water was provided by solar thermal panels and clay plaster was used on the internal walls to regulate the temperature and humidity inside. The house and the grounds were designed to encourage native plants, mosses and lichens, while the natural birch walls incorporated bird boxes and bat roosts. The property attracted a considerable degree of interest and sold at a closing date.
David Corrie continued: “Many of the properties that come to the market are modern, bespoke eco houses, or houses significantly refurbished with efficiency in mind, however we are seeing more and more examples of energy efficient technology being installed and integrated into properties. We expect this interest in energy efficient homes to continue in 2023 as a major factor of interest to buyers, and indeed for the next several years.”
Galbraith reports that its residential sales for this year are slightly down on the post-pandemic year 2021, the best year in the history of the firm, but still higher than in 2020, at an average of £57.6m per quarter, showing the continued strong demand for rural property.
The three areas of Scotland where sales continued to rise this year are Inverness-shire, Aberdeenshire and Moray, reflecting continued very high demand in the north of Scotland, despite an exceptionally active 2021. In the north of England sales have also continued to rise, marking the fourth successive year of growth.
Galbraith has 13 offices across Scotland and the north of England and two-thirds of its property sales are to buyers already registered with the firm.
Image 1: Blair House in Glen Doll, which was sold by Galbraith in Perthshire