Changes ahead of the fossil fuel heating ban
With the Future Homes Standard requiring alternatives to fossil fuel-based heating systems in new homes from 2025, builders and developers are already considering a range of measures needed to transition to new technologies, such as air- and ground-source heat pumps.
69% of poll respondents said they intend to improve insulation in new homes from 2022, while 42% are already looking at installing alternative heating systems. 37% are also considering underfloor and skirting board heating.
Other energy efficiency measures such as triple-glazed windows (23%), power generation, for example solar panels (29%), and mechanical air ventilation (29%) are less likely to be specified in new homes.
Homebuilders are anticipating the continued growth of electric car use, with 44% saying they will be installing electric car charging points in new homes.
Work-from-home to be factored into new-home design
Developers and builders also expect the work-from-home era to continue. 35% are intending to include either a dedicated home office room or space, while 40% recognise the value of combined USB, internet and power sockets.
Outdoor space, which became so valued during the pandemic lockdowns, remains lower priority, with 20% stating they will be providing larger outdoor areas.
Smaller, town-based developments to lead in 2022
Of the 1,567 respondents in the LABC Warranty poll, 72% expect to build more new homes in 2022 than in 2021.
The most likely location for new homes will be in commuter and provincial towns (32%), with larger suburban developments expected to make up 24% of new-home provision. Just over a quarter (26%) of developments will be smaller (fewer than 10 units) in village or town boundary locations, while one-in-five (20%) will be inner city dwellings.
Daniel Hughes, Technical Partnership Director at LABC Warranty, said the results showed how climate change and changing building regulations were driving significant changes in the new-homes market.
“As one of the UK’s largest providers of structural warranties for new homes, we are seeing increased use of new technologies, methods and materials in new-home construction as the sector seeks to reduce its carbon footprint,” he said.
“Builders and developers know that, building regulations aside, homes featuring better insulation and lower energy bills will be more attractive to buyers and renters. Equally, the increase in working-from-home could be reflected in layout, with designs seeking to incorporate study rooms or more adaptable spaces.
“Even with all the extra considerations with regards building safety and energy efficiency, it’s good to note the majority expect to build more new homes in 2022 compared to 2021.”