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Britons embrace eco homes

The British are more optimistic these days when it comes to making their home greener, according to a new study.

Eco-homes, economically sustainable? by Knight Frank and EC Harris reveals that 87% of us would not oppose retro-fitting eco technology into our houses, while over half (59%) are willing to pay a premium for an eco-home.

A further 86% are keen to get more information on the impact of eco-measures in the home and 43% consider environmental features important when they are looking to buy a property.

The report goes on to say that the government’s voluntary new code for sustainable homes is having an impact on attitudes towards property development and purchase.

However, there is concern among house builders about both the cost and current availability of technological solutions to meet the government’s zero carbon targets by 2016.

Investing in high quality design is also regarded as an important factor in the future. The prime market, especially in London, has been a leading area for eco-experimentation and the report’s authors cite Morpheus Development’s Clareville Street in SW7 as ‘a good example in a prime market setting.’

Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, says: ‘Over the next decade, we expect to see the three strands of eco-awareness, design quality and place making combining in terms of market placement. The key for developers is to ensure they are able to capitalise on these themes.’

However, in the short term, Mr Bailey believes ‘the slow down in the housing market is causing many, especially first-time buyers, to put affordability above environmental priorities.’