news and press News Making homes more sustainable offers first-time buyers more opportunities in housing market
News Utrecht 01 June 2023 08:30 EU/Amsterdam

Making homes more sustainable offers first-time buyers more opportunities in housing market

Starters on the housing market can increase their choice by 35% if they include houses with a lower energy label in their search and take out an additional mortgage share to make them more sustainable. Yet first-time buyers hardly take advantage of this opportunity, Hypotheken Data Netwerk (“Mortgage Data Network”) results show. Results from a.s.r. confirm this view: in 2022, 13% of first-time buyers who took out a mortgage with a.s.r., made use of an additional sustainability mortgage. This additional mortgage gives first time buyers the means to finance energy-saving measures, making it more attractive to consider homes with a lower energy label as well.

First-time buyers can qualify for transfer tax exemption for homes in the price range up to €440,000. This makes it interesting for first-time buyers to consider homes up to this price range. However, by no means all of these houses have a high energy label. Currently, there are over 37,000 houses for sale in the Netherlands up to €440,000. Almost 6,500 of those have, for example, an energy label D or E . By also considering homes with a lower energy label, in combination with a sustainability loan, first-time buyers increase their options on the housing market without losing the benefit of the starter exemption. 

The Verduurzamingshypotheek (“Sustainability mortgage”) from a.s.r. offers customers the opportunity to take energy-saving measures in and around the home. Customers with a Verduurzamingshypotheek from a.s.r., declared an average of €8,200 for energy-saving measures in 2022. This additional loan was mainly used to purchase solar panels, glass insulation and roof and/or cavity wall insulation. Such measures contribute to an improvement in the energy label of the home, resulting in a saving in energy costs and a reduction in CO2 emissions. According to a.s.r.’s research, among its own customers with a sustainability mortgage, this improves the energy label on average by 1.5, from, for example, D to C or B.

Neriman Polat, Mortgage Funding & Distribution Manager at a.s.r.: ‘Over the past year, we have experienced that energy costs form a significant part of our monthly fixed expenses, and that these can rise suddenly. The energy market is still volatile and this uncertainty affects the buying behavior of house seekers. We are already seeing in the housing market that a home's energy label has become more important and influences the popularity of houses for sale. For first-time buyers for whom the supply of houses with an energy label A, B or C is already less accessible, due to high prices and increased interest rates, an additional sustainability mortgage offers an alternative. With a relatively small investment, a home’s energy label can already demonstrably improve. Moreover, the cost of this loan almost always cancels out the savings on energy bills. This makes it more attractive to consider a home with a lower energy label.

Figures in this press release come from Funda, reference date: 31-05-2023. 

All articles