With every day come signs that the lockdown is gradually coming to an end – people returning to work, retail outlets and even borders reopening, school timetables being dusted off…Only time will tell if it’s all too soon, and only time will tell what the world has learned from the experience. For me, it’s made the “important” stuff less important and the less important stuff more important.
There’s a lot of talk about how we can’t go back to the “old normal”, how open space is becoming increasingly desirable among homebuyers and how we need to build on the positive environmental effects that the pandemic has had. Pollution and congestion have been minimal for the last 3 months, and the sky is a different shade of blue. Or so it seems.
Among homebuilders, there has been a move towards greater sustainability for several years now, and at Hilltop, any development that stacks up and that also incorporates eco features becomes an increasingly attractive proposition. We are looking to fund the building of better homes, which we think makes for better living.
Why? There’s the ethical element – the environment needs all the protection it can get and every little helps. Doing our bit for future generations carries a subtle feelgood element that incorporates the latest innovative tech. There’s also the aspect of preserving highly specialised trades such as architectural salvage, carpentry and thatching. For many people, the ethical reasons alone suffice.
Then there’s the economic element – great developments incorporating eco-friendly features are a sound investment. As sustainability becomes increasingly popular with the UK public, eco-friendly buildings become more desirable and hence command a higher price. You only need to consider the impact of the EPC rating in recent years to see this is a process that’s already begun – an EPC rating of ‘G’ is guaranteed to put a significant number of cost-sensitive buyers off from the get-go.
There’s also a case to be made for the diversification of your investment portfolio. OK, real estate is real estate and should always prove to be a sound investment long-term, but hedging on the future is a simple way to spread some risk. Add to this the durability of modern eco-construction, and strong resale values should also be a future benefit.
We’re increasingly being presented funding opportunities that strike a chord with the current desire to get out of the cities. Sustainability is another big tick and a factor that we are taking increasingly into consideration with the deals that we choose to fund. It’s all part of investing for a better future. Better living, better life.