Three in every five (62%) landlords would describe themselves as “interested” in green mortgages, according to buy-to-let (BTL) broker Mortgages for Business (MfB).
Green mortgages include those that reward borrowers with discounted rates for making their properties more energy-efficient and shrinking their carbon footprint.
The results of Mortgages for Business’ poll, which surveyed the views of more than 300 landlords across the UK, suggested a change in landlords’ attitudes to green mortgages, as none of the landlords who had purchased their first buy-to-let property before 2000 said they had been interested in green mortgages at the time.
Only 10% of those who had acquired their first BTL property in the 2000s said they had been interested in green mortgages when they made the purchase.
Younger landlords were less enthusiastic than older landlords, with only 50% of those under 45 saying interested in green mortgages, compared to 66% of those over 45.
The poll also revealed that 15% of female landlords were interested in green mortgages when they first started investing in property, compared to only 7% of men; now, however, this has risen to 56% of female landlords, and 64% of male landlords.
Jeni Browne, director of Mortgages for Business, said: “Much of the UK’s housing stock is very energy inefficient, making our homes a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Improving the energy efficiency of the UK’s stock of housing is a priority in the fight against climate change.
“A green mortgage means that, once they can confirm they have a revised energy rating for their property, the right lender will recalculate their mortgage rate at a discount.
“There are various mortgage products out there but the best are applied on completion of an energy efficiency project and applied for the lifetime of a mortgage.
“Given housing accounts for such a significant chunk of the UK’s carbon emissions, it’s great that landlords are so interested in making greener choices – spurred on, no doubt, by the fact landlords are rushing to upgrade their properties to meet new EPC rating rules by 2028.
“Whatever the reasons, landlords now appear interested in joining the battle to combat climate change. That hasn’t always been the case.
“We started trading in 1990 and the findings of our poll match our experience of the market over the last 30 years.
“Landlords’ attitudes have changed dramatically, particularly in the last decade.
“Landlords should be interested in these products though – quite apart from the ethical considerations, green mortgages reward landlords with a lower rate when they shrink their carbon footprint.
“Hopefully, our research will help drum up more lender supply. The UK’s largest lenders have launched a wave of climate-change products amid criticism over their slow response to global warming.
“For instance, one of the big lenders did launch a Green Mortgage last year and we’ve seen others follow suit but have only offered borrowers preferential rates when they purchase an energy efficient property – rather than rewarding those improving the ecological footprint of the UK’s housing stock.
“It’s not enough and that’s why they have failed to impress campaigners. Given Britain has just enjoyed the greenest Easter on record, with almost 80% of the energy used at lunchtime on Easter Sunday coming from zero-carbon sources such as solar and wind, the industry is in danger of falling behind the times unless we do our bit.”
Read more about sustainability in the housing market in this month’s Bridging Introducer magazine.