Connect with us


Britain’s Victorian housing stock could see values plummet if government introduces EPC regulation

Voice Of EU



The government is on a mission to retrofit the UK’s ageing housing stock – which accounts for roughly 20 per cent of the nation’s CO2 emissions.

Its current aim is to have as many homes as possible reach a C rating by 2035 in England and Wales, with an even earlier target being set for private rented homes.

This is a worry for homeowners living in Britain’s Victorian housing stock, which could lose some of its value if further energy efficiency regulations come into force. 

EPC is a rating scheme which bands properties between A and G, with an A rating being the most efficient and G the least efficient

EPC is a rating scheme which bands properties between A and G, with an A rating being the most efficient and G the least efficient

At present, about three in five homes have a D rating or worse, according to Rightmove. 

However, ONS data shows that those built before 1900 have an E rating on average, thanks to their poor insulation and lack of double glazing. 

Upgrading homes to meet the targets could cost up to £65billion, according to Government estimates – and homeowners are expected to foot the bill.

What is an EPC rating? 

EPC is a rating scheme which bands properties between A and G, with an A rating being the most efficient and G the least efficient.

The rating is based on the building’s energy features such as the building materials used, the heating systems and its insulation.

EPC ratings

Band A – 92 plus (most efficient)

Band B – 81 to 91

Band C – 69 to 80

Band D – 55 to 68

Band E – 39 to 54

Band F – 21 to 38

Band G – 1 to 20 (least efficient) 

The survey must be carried out by an accredited energy assessor and entered into a government-approved software to generate a score for the EPC, typically ranging from 0 to 100, simplified into bands A to G for domestic property.

The score remains valid for 10 years with homeowners needing to arrange a new one whenever a property is sold or rented – anyone failing to have one under these circumstances can be fined.

Ensuring adequate loft, underfloor or cavity wall insulation, upgrading to double or triple glazed windows, draught proofing and hot water tank insulation are just some examples of improvements that can boost an EPC rating.

There are currently no legal requirements for homeowners to have a minimum EPC rating, although landlords need to achieve a minimum EPC of E to let a property.

However, there are concerns that homeowners living in energy inefficient homes will come under increasing pressure to upgrade them.

Earlier this year the UK Government consulted on how mortgage lenders can help householders improve the energy performance of their homes.

This included proposals to introduce a target-based approach for improving the energy performance of lenders’ portfolios through a portfolio average target of EPC band C by 2030, for which the government is currently analysing the feedback.

Energy efficiency: About three in five homes in the UK have a D rating or worse, whilst those built before 1900 have an E rating on average, according to ONS data

Energy efficiency: About three in five homes in the UK have a D rating or worse, whilst those built before 1900 have an E rating on average, according to ONS data

This could see mortgage lenders become more reluctant to lend on properties with EPC ratings below C, because it would bring down their average. 

Timothy Douglas, policy manager at Propertymark said: ‘If this were to come into effect, it could cause distortion in the market.

‘If less efficient properties were harder to purchase for example, then their value would be affected as they would become less attractive or attainable.

‘Traditionally some older properties have actually held a premium over other property as they offer attractive settings and curb appeal but changes to borrowing could see more efficient properties start to hold a premium instead.’

What can homeowners do?

At present there appears to be a small price gap opening up between energy efficient and energy inefficient homes.  

There is a £9,840 difference between an average home with an EPC C and an EPC E rating, based on Savills data, although this increases to £47,605 when comparing EPC B to EPC F.

According to a recent Rics survey, although a third of property professionals had seen an increase in demand for energy-efficient homes over the past year, more than three quarters said a home’s EPC rating had little or no impact on its sale price.

There is a £9,840 difference between an average home with an EPC C and E rating, based on Savills data, although this increases to £47,605 when comparing EPC B to F.

There is a £9,840 difference between an average home with an EPC C and E rating, based on Savills data, although this increases to £47,605 when comparing EPC B to F.

More than half surveyed by Rics said the EPC rating had little impact, while 23 per cent believed that it had no impact whatsoever.

At the moment the government is yet to enforce any regulation or indeed a compulsory energy performance certificate rating of ‘C’ on UK properties.

But if they were to do so, the demand for Britain’s Victorian housing stock will almost certainly be impacted, forcing homeowners to either upgrade or see the value of their home fall.

The cost of upgrading a home from an E to a C rating is more than £17,000 on average, according to analysis by Savills.

But these calculations will vary depending on the specific needs of each property, with many likely to require a new heating system on top of other improvements such as wall and loft insulation.

The average cost of a heat pump system ranges between £11,000 and £18,000, whilst for homeowners off the gas grid, replacing oil with a low-carbon heating alternative could cost more than £30,000, according to Liquid Gas UK.

Many homeowners living in Victorian homes across the country will therefore be unable to afford the renovation costs without government support.

Depending on a homeowner’s circumstances, as well as the type of property, small pockets of funding are available.

This includes Local Authority Development Grants, Energy Company Obligation and Home Upgrade Grants.

Adding loft insulation is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to increase a property's EPC rating.

Adding loft insulation is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to increase a property’s EPC rating.

But for the vast majority, there is no support available, meaning people have no choice other than to do it themselves or wait for further government intervention.

‘The challenge of incentivising homeowners to retrofit their properties will be made more difficult if the costs involved prove to be too much, especially in areas with low property values,’ said Douglas.

‘This is because the cost of the retrofitting would not be regained in the capital value of the property after works are completed.

‘National and regional strategies need to be established in order to support homeowners with funding to tackle the vast retrofit challenge that lays ahead.’

One way the government’s could begin incentivising homeowners to start retrofitting their homes would be to cut VAT on green home upgrades.

This might encourage more people to install low carbon technologies and improve energy efficiency.

Developers can reclaim VAT on new builds, or when converting non-residential buildings such as barns, or homes that have not been lived in for 10 years.

But homeowners looking to retrofit their Victorian properties with all the latest energy saving improvements are not entitled to do so.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

Source link


Barings and HBD secure planning for London logistics scheme (GB)

Voice Of EU



Barings and HBD have secured detailed planning for a strategic logistics scheme in Rainham, London, transforming a 20-acre brownfield site. The new development, Momentum London, is being delivered by Barings and HBD in a joint venture partnership. It will create 381,814ft² of new logistics and industrial space across four units ranging from 41,000 -171,000ft².


The scheme will target Net Zero Carbon, BREEAM “Excellent” and an EPC “A+” rating. This is being achieved by dynamic design, careful consideration of materials, zero use of fossil fuels, maximizing photovoltaic solar panels, battery storage and intelligent building systems. The units will be 100% EV ready, including passive fleet charging to the yards.


The logistics park will be set in landscaped environment with picnic and public areas, as well as direct access onto the Thames Cycle Path, so that it brings further social benefits to the area. Positioned on the River Thames, with potential for jetty access, Momentum will offer an easy stepping stone into Central London and out via the A13, just minutes away.


Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions and Managing Director at Barings, said: Momentum London will be a strategically located logistics scheme with strong environmental and social credentials, beneficial both to future occupiers and the communities around it. Logistics is one of Barings’ preferred investment sectors and Momentum London exemplifies the kind of developments we’re seeking, with a keen interest in exploring joint ventures like this one with HBD.”


Simon Quine, Senior Development Surveyor at HBD, said: “Industrial and logistics space remains in very limited supply across London, particularly larger distribution units. Momentum will plug that gap within the M25 and provide modern, sustainable logistics and distribution space to serve London and the wider South East market. Landscaping and wellness have been thoroughly considered, with careful design considerations and enhancements to the Thames Foot and Cycle path, which we hope will help occupiers to attract and retain staff.”

Source link

Continue Reading


Mirrored furniture trend can create the illusion of space in your home

Voice Of EU



Mirrored furniture provokes strong emotions. Some see it as the epitome of bad taste, flashy and bling. Others know that mirrors have magic powers.

A mirrored table or cabinet makes a room or a hallway appear more swish and spacious. It’s a trick that bars and restaurants employ to ensure their establishments appear roomier and more inviting — and they can add lustre to your home, too.

Choosing a piece of mirrored furniture also sends out a sign that you are aware of one of the year’s trends — the return of Art Deco, the influential style that emerged in the 1920s. 

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

It blended forms that celebrated modern machinery with decorative elements drawn from Greco-Roman culture and nature. 

The mirror was a favourite material, used on the surfaces of furniture and walls to supply a shimmering silver and gold effect.

Probably the most famous piece of Art Deco architecture is New York’s Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, its sunburst-patterned stainless steel spire remains one of the key elements of the Manhattan skyline.

Art Deco console tables, drinks trolleys and other items from the era of the building’s construction sell for thousands on auction sites such as 1stdibs underlining the growing appeal of this aesthetic. 

Jamie Watkins, the co-founder of fabric and wallpaper company Divine Savages, explains Art Deco’s allure for a new audience.

‘Art Deco, with its bold geometrical patterns was such an iconic period for design: it’s synonymous with glamour and luxury.’

The resurgent popularity of Art Deco is also based on its practicality: a mirrored piece works with almost any interior, adding interest and depth.

The power of the mirror to create a wow impression has been recognised for centuries. 

Examples of this technique include the round mirror on the wall behind the bride and groom in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery. It sends out the message that the couple are discerning — and wealthy.

Cheers: B&M's £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

Cheers: B&M’s £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

The hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles was designed to be a place of beauty, but also to display the financial resources of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Mirrors were a luxury item until an inexpensive manufacturing process was invented in the 1830s.

In 2022, it is possible to pick up mirrored pieces for under £100. B&M has a £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves that would lend an air of Thirties elegance to any gathering. The £94.99 Ellison serving cart (a U.S. term for drinks trolley) from Wayfair has a similar vibe.

If you believe that the right mirrored trolley would save you money on trips to bars, the larger £144.95 gold oval mirrored trolley from Melody Maison could be the thing.

A mirrored cocktail cabinet will dazzle guests. The £1,200 Primrose & Plum champagne and gold cabinet has a Jazz-Age feel.

The £299 Venetian sideboard from Furniture Market, meanwhile, is a more modestly priced way to conjure up the party spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

The show flats of apartment blocks are often equipped with mirrored cocktail cabinets containing bottles of spirits and crystal glasses. This makes buyers dream of dinner parties, with a prelude of aperitifs, but also serves to make the apartment appear even roomier.

A console table in the hall also creates an illusion of space which can be amplified by the addition of a lamp. HomesDirect365 has a range in the style of almost every era including Art Deco, Regency, the 1960s and the 1970s. Prices start at £233.

The bedroom is often the most cramped room in either a house or flat which is why this can be the best place to experiment with mirrored furniture. 

The desire to preserve family harmony is another reason. The other members of your household may prefer the kitchen and living room to be slick and understated, seeing anything mirrored as excessive.

In the bedroom, however, you can indulge your decor fantasies. Habitat has the one-drawer Hepburn bedside table for £76.

Next offers the antique effect Fleur bedside table which costs £225 for the one-drawer version and £275 for the two-drawer version. 

The Fleur is also available as a six-drawer chest for £599 or a £1,150 double wardrobe if you seek to waft around your bedroom channelling your inner 1930s Hollywood screen siren. 

Dunelm’s Venetian mirrored dressing table also offers a chance to live out your dream of silver screen stardom (£449).

If mirrored furniture has brought out your party animal, kindling a passion for Art Deco in every guise, Divine Savages offers Deco Martini wallpaper whose design is based on the geometric forms, with a hidden Martini glass within the print (£150 per roll).

Some of your guests may not be too busy checking out their reflections on the doors of the mirrored cabinet to notice this subtle and witty detail in the wallpaper.

Savings of the week! water jugs… Up to 52% off 

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from is half-price at £22

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from is half-price at £22

Sitting outside on a sunny afternoon is already delightful. But it is even more enjoyable if you are sipping on a cool drink or an iced coffee from a generously sized jug, or maybe even a Pimm’s. The arrival of the July sales means bargains abound.

If you prioritise practicality, Ocado’s textured lustre plastic picnic jug has 33 per cent off at £8.

The price of the pleasingly geometric plastic smoky-grey Prism jug from Wayfair is 16 per cent off at £10.10. 

If you would like to feel as if you are in the south of France, John Lewis has the plain glass Arles wicker-wrapped jug. It is reduced from £25 to £12, down 52 per cent.

Wanting something more elegant that you can also use for flowers? The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from is also half-price at £22.

Source link

Continue Reading


VGP acquires French logistics development

Voice Of EU




VGP NV and VALGO signed an agreement to purchase 32 hectares of land that housed the former Petroplus refining units in Petit-Couronne, near Rouen. This brownfield rehabilitation project is fully in line with VGP’s core expertise and strategy. Thanks to the six years ownership of the site by VALGO and its expertise in asbestos removal, soil and water table decontamination, in-situ waste treatment and development, this area has now become a suitable site for the development of new industries and business activities.


On the banks of the river Seine and close to the A13 highway, the 32-hectare area of land offers its future users a highly strategic location. Following the extensive depollution work carried out by VALGO, the site is now ready for redevelopment. VGP expanded into France only a few months ago and is delighted to start its French business activities in the dynamic Rouen Normandy metropolis area, via this major project. In total, around 150,000m² of land are set to be redeveloped to accommodate industrial and logistics projects, with work due to begin in 2023.


Jan Van Geet, CEO VGP, said: “VGP is delighted to begin its business activities in France on a site as exceptional as this one, with strong economic and environmental ambitions that are shared by both our partner, VALGO, and the local authorities. As the rehabilitation of brownfield sites is at the heart of our business, this project is a great opportunity for us to deploy our industrial and logistical know-how. The uncertain geopolitical situation and the rise in transport prices mean that companies are increasingly looking for local support to start their business. In this context, we strongly believe in the relevance of our integrated model with a long-term vision. We are now eager to get to work and bring all the expertise of the Group to the project.”


Francois Bouche, CEO VALGO, commented: “We are delighted that this huge piece of land has been sold to a major investor with experience in redeveloping brownfields in Europe. However, I would first like to celebrate the work of the men and women who worked so hard to make this colossal project a success. It took more than 1 million hours and over €60m in investment by VALGO to turn the page on over 80 years of refining on this site, which already employs 600 people.”

Source link

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!