Surprising results revealed in new sustainability report

A new report reveals surprising results on the value of sustainable features amongst younger people, its importance by age and location and case studies of two BTR schemes.

Sustainability - The Resident Perspective report by HomeViews reveals surprising results on the value of sustainable features amongst younger people | BTR News

When looking for a new home, new research shows that younger renters in the UK place less value on sustainable features than older residents. The importance of sustainability increases directly proportionally with age. The findings are based on verified reviews from over 12,600 residents on HomeViews, an independent review platform for residential developments in the UK. The findings have been published in HomeViews’ new report Sustainability: The Resident Perspective – in partnership with EE.

Overall, 72% of reviewers said that sustainable features would be important to them. However, that figure dropped to 65% for the youngest age bracket (18-24 yrs), rising steadily up to 85% for the oldest 65+ age group.

Younger Londoners placed slightly more value on sustainable features than their regional counterparts. However, the trend of increasing value with age was seen for residents in London and the regions.

HomeViews asked residents to choose three sustainable building features they valued most when choosing a new home. Overall, older residents placed significantly more value on features such as energy saving measures, building eco ratings and sustainable construction.

Younger residents felt that recycling, bike storage and smart features were more important – a surprising result given the affordability constraints facing younger renters. Looking deeper into the data, younger residents were more likely to be tenants than older residents, who were predominantly owners.

“These findings are surprising given the general impression that the younger generations are those ‘beating the drum’ for change around climate issues. Our data suggests that younger generations may be poorly educated on the potential cost and environmental benefits of sustainable building features and appear to see less value in them while renting.

“In contrast, education on plastics pollution and recycling has been widespread, and its impact on attitudes is clear in this report. Younger buyers and renters are also likely to be preoccupied with simply finding an affordable home, and sustainable features could represent an ‘aspirational’ factor they do not feel they can afford.”

Rory Cramer, CEO and Co-founder, HomeViews

Alongside trends by age, the report also dives deeper into how a residents location affects the sustainable features they value, and a breakdown of each sustainable feature. Case studies provide further insight into sustainability features at two Build to Rent schemes.

With recycling the most important feature to residents, Get Living’s East Village scheme case study highlights the challenge of achieving ‘zero landfill’, the solution and positive impact using David Phillips’ Release scheme for its furniture refurbishment.

The second case study looks at reducing thermal gains at Vertus’ Newfoundland Build to Rent scheme. It highlights the challenge of reducing building heat gain, the solution and its positive impact by using Interlace.