"I think there has been a big shift in consciousness since the outbreak of the pandemic and more people are looking at eco-friendly living."
Stephen Thatcher, the Science of Mortgages
Demand for environmentally-friendly properties has increased as the pandemic has led to a shift in consumer behaviour, according to reports.
Market research company Ipsos Mori has found two thirds of Britons believe the Climate Change is as serious as Coronavirus and the majority want it prioritised in economic recovery.
And according to the government, 15 per cent of carbon emissions come from homes.
Stephen Thatcher, who heads The Science of Mortgages in Gloucestershire, said: “I think there has been a big shift in consciousness since the outbreak of the pandemic and more people are looking at eco-friendly living.
“People are increasingly choosing homes which are made from eco-friendly materials and use energy efficiently. Eco-friendly homes play a big part in protecting the planet.”
Stephen is working with clients who are buying in developments which build homes to high environmental standards.
The properties, such as Dover Meadow near Brecon, Wales, have features such as zinc roofing, underfloor-heating, top-spec insulation and electric car charging points. Buildings are designed to reduce both costs and carbon emissions.
He has seen trends change since the pandemic started – as people consider working from home, creating communities and more eco-friendly options.
Consumers also desire sustainability and homes which are built to last. Zinc roofs, for example, are designed to be corrosion resistant and last a lifetime.
Stephen, who has worked in the property and financial industry for over 25 years, said: “Home-buyers don’t want to live in a house that looks like it’s made of straw. Many want something bespoke and built to last.
“There is still a place for starter homes, but I think the apartment-side may struggle unless they can offer something special. In the past, someone may have bought a one-bedroom flat with a view to getting on the property-ladder.
“But buyers today tend to save for longer, and perhaps harder, to get a bigger property and stay put.”
People have increasingly worked and socialised from home since the pandemic. Studies show this trend is set to continue - and buyers are looking to create a sense of community.
Stephen, who is based in Stroud, said: “More people are looking to buy into small gated- communities, with large communal gardens.
“They are aware that they will be spending more time at home and, rather than count bedrooms, they may consider the availability of usable rooms or space. They will look at possible areas for an office, study or studio, for example.
Stephen has supported clients buying at Painswick in the Cotswolds, which ‘forms part of a small community’ and hosts a large communal front lawn for the residents.
He said: “I think the pandemic has led to many changes in how we work and live – and they are here to stay.”
Stephen, who offers income and lifestyle protection, has seen an increase in people safeguarding their properties, possessions and earnings since the pandemic.
He said: “Protection-wise I have seen a big change in attitudes since the start of the pandemic.
“Clients are much more conscious of potential situations that occur and want to make sure that both themselves and their families are as well protected as possible.”
Stephen Thatcher has been working in the property and financial industry for over 25 years. The former estate agent, who has worked for both a boutique agent and the largest group in the country, has acted as a mortgage advisor specialising in the residential market for more than 15years.