Plan to link mortgages to green standards ‘will hurt first-time buyers’

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Home buyers may soon be asked to improve the insulation of their properties as part of their mortgage requirements under plans announced by Boris Johnson’s government.

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Mortgage lenders will be asked to disclose the energy efficiency performance of homes in their portfolios – fears it could deter banks from lending to people hoping to buy “leakier” properties.

The announcement has prompted warnings that first-time buyers may struggle to obtain a mortgage unless they pay for costly upgrades to potential homes.


Lib Dems urged the government to remove the move. Leader Sir Ed Davey said, “It is an insult to first-time buyers who have scraped and saved to climb the housing ladder.”

He added: “Conservatives should immediately scrap this plan. Ministers are trying to clean up their own mess and forcing first-time buyers to fork out thousands of pounds extra, such as cutting interest rate hikes.” It’s gonna be.”

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UK Finance – the body representing mortgage lenders – said the government’s plans could push some homeowners into negative equity towards a “two-tier market” if they cannot make insulation improvements.

“New and newly-built properties are likely to have better energy performance – older properties may be more difficult to bring up to standard in a cost-effective manner,” said a UK Finance spokesperson.

The group of mortgage lenders warned against “unintended consequences that could trap owners in poorly performing properties or create a two-tiered market where borrowers pay more but have fewer options”.

But Downing Street denied that plans to boost energy efficiency would penalize those attempting to climb the property ladder.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said the plan was intended to “catalyze the development of the green finance market” – adding: “We will only present a policy that was guided by fairness to the public.”

On Tuesday, the government laid out its proposals to encourage green home improvement in its heating and construction strategy, along with its comprehensive plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The strategy revealed that ministers are “considering mandatory disclosure requirements for mortgage lenders on the energy performance of the homes to which they lend”.

The government will also set voluntary reform targets for mortgage lenders to ensure that their properties have an average EPC band of C or better by 2030.

The document states that the government reserves the option to make the target mandatory if “insufficient progress is being made”. Only 40 percent of households in the UK currently have a C energy rating or higher.

Mr Johnson’s government said it would “consider” setting a date for all households to meet minimum energy standards before the 2050 net zero target.

Meanwhile, the government has come under fire over a plan to offer a £5,000 grant to help residents replace their gas boilers with green heat pumps.

But just 90,000 of Britain’s 22 million gas-heated households will benefit from a scheme branded “inadequate” by environmentalists.

Labor also said a plan of action to tackle the climate crisis “falls short”, calling for a “long-term” plan to retrofit UK homes.


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