Guest blog: Why we are lending on the Homes of the Future

Richard Rothwell, Commercial Development Manager at Leeds Building Society, explains how the Society is exploring ways to help with affordability to ensure home ownership is within reach of more people.

It’s not often that you get the chance to see into the future, so when Keepmoat Homes first approached us about their Future Homes development in 2022, we knew this was a project we wanted to be involved with.

Their energy efficient development in Nottinghamshire would feature homes built to the anticipated Future Homes Standard which is due to be introduced as part of building regulations for all new properties built in the UK from 2025.

Fast forward two years, and the first homes on the development at the Gedling Green site near Nottingham are now on sale.

Built using locally produced materials and designed to last at least 150 years, the new Future Homes are built to deliver a 90% reduction in carbon from previous standards implemented in 2013.

The homes are heated using state of the art air source heat pumps, smart water storage, under floor heating and PV panels providing renewable energy. It is estimated that the residents of these homes will use 57% less energy than an equivalent standard basic new build property, and the cost of running one of these homes will be around 45% less than similar second-hand properties.

Supporting the local supply chain, the project uses locally sourced materials to further drive down the environmental impact of the build. The bricks used to build the homes are sourced from just 20 miles away, contributing to an upfront carbon embedded score aligned to industry leading targets.

However, the additional costs associated with building a home to this standard can run the risk of pricing people out of living more sustainably.

This is why Leeds Building Society is proud to partner with Keepmoat on the Future Homes project, allowing us to learn more about the reduced running costs of these homes which can be factored into mortgage affordability. 

Using the data supplied by research teams from Birmingham City University, we will be able to better understand the reduced cost of living for the residents of these new Future Homes. The saving on monthly energy bills will then be factored into affordability calculations for mortgage applications to Leeds Building Society.

We are passionate about exploring ways we can help with affordability to ensure that we are putting home ownership within reach of more people and protecting our planet for future generations.

The university research team are working on real-time learnings from the residents of these new homes on their energy usage, so we can continue to develop our understanding of what it is like to live in one of these homes, how it affects energy bills, and the positive impact Future Homes can have on carbon emissions. 

As one the first lenders to offer Green Mortgages we feel passionately about helping people make more sustainable choices as they look to step onto and up the property ladder. 

The UK has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe with many properties failing to meet the Government’s definition of a ‘decent home’, making UK homes among the least energy efficient in Europe. UK housing stock contributes around 40% of all UK carbon emissions. 

As a responsible business we are committed to the orderly transition to a greener, net zero economy and we will support our members on this journey by rewarding those choosing to live in the most environmentally friendly homes.

The Keepmoat site at Gedling Green represents the future of home building and it’s fitting that on the site of a former mining pit, future homes are being built at scale to lead us towards a net zero future.

We’re looking forward to seeing buyers of Future Homes benefit from energy savings, better living conditions, and reduced emissions. 

Having recently been named Best Green Mortgage Provider in the Moneynet Awards, we want to maintain momentum and continue to champion greener homes, like those built on this Keepmoat development.

2024 looks set to be a very exciting year for Leeds Building Society as we work with our partners to help find solutions that will make a huge impact to customers’ energy consumption and monthly bills. We want to continue to innovate so that our members can move into homes that are fit for the future and will contribute towards a greener housing market.

To find out more visit: Leeds Building Society