Style vs. Sustainability: How prospective homebuyers intend to transform their homes

Posted on Thursday, December 7, 2023

More prospective homebuyers want to purchase a property they can revamp to their style than those who want to buy a property they can retrofit, according to new research.

It’s style over sustainability it seems, as 22% of prospective homebuyers say that want to purchase a property they can revamp to their style, with just 13% wanting to buy a property that they can retrofit, such as upgrading its energy efficiency.

The findings form part of new research from Mortgage Advice Bureau, which also revealed that future homebuyers intend to spend an average of £17k (£17,301) renovating their homes.

Even though the overall focus remains on style, when asked what they’d spend money on, three of the top five choices could improve their property’s energy efficiency. Prospective buyers see themselves making changes such as upgrading to an energy-efficient boiler (45%), installing double glazing (40%), and adding more insulation (30%).

The research, which explored the views and plans of future homebuyers, found that 33% would like to buy a property that needs very minimal changes. Meanwhile, 22% would like to buy a property that is perfect for them to move into, as they won’t have the budget or time to make any changes.

Priority property upgrades:

Upgrade to an energy-efficient boiler - 45%

Install double glazing - 40%

Renovate a room (i.e. kitchen, bathroom etc) - 33%

Add more insulation - 30%

Garden landscaping - 22%

Build an extension - 20%

Add bi-fold doors - 13%

Install a hot tub - 11%

The research also found where homebuyers are getting their home improvement inspirations.

28% say it comes from their family and friends, followed by TV shows (25%) and YouTube (24%). Other social channels are also providing Brits with home ideas, including Facebook (18%), Instagram (17%), TikTok (15%), and Pinterest (13%). 16% cited magazines as the source of their inspiration, whilst 8% say their broker and 7% their bank.

Ben Thompson, Deputy CEO at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “On the surface, prospective buyers are looking to make their house a home through stylistic changes, or are keen to move into a home that is as close to perfect as can be. Despite recent backtracks on overall EPC targets in the housing sector, there is also a clear sign that prospective buyers remain keen on the prospect of a greener home.

“Making changes, such as installing new double glazing or upgrading a boiler, can all help in upping their property’s energy efficiency. This has the potential to cut hundreds off homebuyers’ energy bills, and in turn, leaving more money for them to follow their TikTok hacks for renovating their new home.”

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