Heightened levels of concern over climate change combined with pressure on the world’s leading economies to reduce carbon emissions make the UK’s furnished holiday let (FHL) market an appealing investment option for British people in 2020, said property agency Spot Blue International Property in January.
In tune with the most current and prominent global issue, in June last year the UK became the first first-world country to pass laws that should end its contribution to global warming – deemed to have reached ‘emergency’ levels – by 2050. The country’s new target requires the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80 per cent reduction from 1990 levels. As part of this, the Government recently confirmed that its initiative to improve the eco-friendliness of house-building through cleaner heating, namely the Future Homes Standard, would come into force by 2025.
“Undoubtedly, 2019 was a turning point in the global drive to raise awareness of climate change,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “This is thanks largely to the likes of David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, who continue to keep the issue firmly on the agenda while forcing many of us ordinary people to ask questions about our own energy use and carbon footprint. For anyone in the market for a holiday home in the new year, buying an eco-friendly property in the UK and letting it to the domestic market, so guests don’t need to travel far, makes a lot of sense.”
A game-changing development in the UK’s FHL market, as well as areas of the residential sector, is the growth of modular construction methods. UK Housing Minister Esther McVey recognised the benefits at London property event MIPIM last October, saying: “Industry has told us some homes built using modern methods can have 80 per cent fewer defects and heating bills up to 70 per cent lower. Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last. I want to see a housing green revolution.”
Spot Blue International Property is working with a developer of holiday home parks that is committed to using eco-friendly modular building options for the majority of its projects across the UK. “Modular homes’ green credentials start before they’re even built,” added Mr Walker. “And they continue for decades, even centuries, after they’re built. Not only through saving on energy bills, but by the fact they encourage UK tourists to travel less, thereby reducing not only the owners’ but the nation’s overall carbon footprint.”
A large part of modular holiday homes’ eco-friendliness is down to construction. They are built according to specific measurements, which means that waste during the construction process is reduced significantly compared to traditional build methods. According to estimates, this reduction is around 50 per cent, but in cases where structured insulated panels are used this can rise to 90 per cent. In addition, the speed and ease with which they are constructed means fewer man hours are required during the build process, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint from travelling to and from the site.
Once built, innovative design and cutting edge insulation materials means that homeowners can expect to pay much lower utility bills, typically around 60 per cent less than traditionally built properties. It also means that the most modern modular homes are built to last longer than traditional homes, typically hundreds of years.
Spot Blue International Property’s range of eco-friendly FHL developments are in the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and North Yorkshire. Suited to lifestyle owners and investors, they are built to full residential standards, come with a ten-year manufacturer’s warranty, a RICs valuation and are fully mortgageable.