Property news roundup: Homeowners going green to save costs

Plus, a 'Grand Design' project, rent worries, Help to Buy, and student flatsharing

Although nine out of ten homeowners are keen to save energy in the home, half are doing so mainly to save money and only one in and less than 10 per cent are doing it  for environmental reasons.

According to figures from M&S Bank nearly four in five have made at least one green home improvement in the last year, the most popular move being switching off lights in unused rooms (83 per cent), recycling (also 83 per cent) and using energy efficient light bulbs (78 per cent)

The top home improvements homeowners would seriously consider making are installing a more energy efficient boiler (19 per cent), solar panels (19 per cent), and triple glazing (13 per cent).

Forced out?

One in five people are concerned that they will have to move out of their local area because of the high cost of housing.

The figure is even higher for those aged 16-24, a third of whom feel housing costs will force them out, according to the survey for the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Overall, nearly two third of those polled feel it is harder to buy or rent a home than for their parents' generation when they were the same age, and three quarters believe the generation below them will find it harder still.

A third say their housing costs are causing them significant amounts of stress and are worried about being unable to pay mortgage payments by this time next year. More than 40 per cent of renters had similar concerns about meeting their monthly payments.

CIH  Chief executive Grainia Long said: "These figures are further confirmation that our housing crisis is causing misery for millions of people across Great Britain and fuelling fears for the future, particularly among younger people. We must take action now for the sake of future generations.

"Our survey showed that four in ten people would support more homes being built in their local area.  We think they are absolutely right. To have any hope of tackling our housing crisis we must drastically increase the number of new homes we build across all tenures."

Live in a 'Grand Design' former schoolhouse

This three bedroom detached former school in Cropton, Pickering, Yorkshire, includes arched mullion windows. The schoolhouse building has been completely remodernised but there is still work to do on the the old school building, although electrics and drainage are already in place. On with Rounthwaite & Woodhead at £498,000 who describe it as 'an excellent ‘Grand Designs’ opportunity without having to rough it while the work gets done'.

Help to Buy

Around 55 per cent of people who have bought a property using the Help to Buy scheme have moved from the private rented sector, according to figures from Countrywide.

Its latest report indicates the income of the average Help to Buy purchaser moving from privately rented accommodation is £41,000.

"The Help to Buy scheme is enabling a growing number of households to achieve their aspiration of homeownership at a time when the proportion of high loan to value values is historically low," said Nigel Stockton, Countrywide's Group Financial Services Director. "As homeownership rates decline, particularly among younger age groups, Help to Buy increasingly represents the way many new households are able to get onto the housing ladder."

Student flatsharing

The number of students looking for a flatshare across the UK has risen steadily since the beginning of the year to reach its highest ever level in May, say Easyroommate. The site has seen a 40 per cent rise in the overall  number of students actively looking for accommodation with particular demand in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Brighton.

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