From the demise of halogen lightbulbs to the interface of international relations and the UK’s domestic property market, the headlines this week seemed to have it all.
Activity in this sector of the economy is back with a bang, so let’s take a closer look at some of the stories that caught our eye.
Halogen lightbulb sales to be banned in UK
The humble halogen lightbulb is to be banned from sale in this country from the beginning of September, reported the BBC on the 9th of June - impacting landlords’ rental properties with changes to the availability of certain light bulbs and fittings.
Legislation will soon also be introduced to impose a similar ban on the sale of fluorescent lights – probably with effect from September 2023.
Energy efficiency and sustainability are the principal reasons for the bans which represent a final step in a process designed to limit their use that started in 2018.
Since that date, the energy efficiency within private residences has improved markedly, thanks to the simple and cost-effective replacement of inefficient bulbs with more eco-friendly designs.
By now, for example, some two-thirds of all lightbulbs bought in the UK are energy-saving LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, which are estimated to last five times as long as traditional halogen bulbs, give out the same amount of light, yet use up to 80% less energy. At current rates of conversion to LED bulbs, by 2030 the new type of bulb is expected to account for some 85% of all sales.
Promising claims are made by government officials about the environmental impact of banning the sale of halogen bulbs and fluorescent lighting. The reduction in carbon emissions as a result of these simple and modest changes in the home will be equivalent to removing more than half a million cars from Britain’s roads, said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.
Carbis Bay property searches double in just a day
How can international relations have an impact on the British property market? When the government decides to host the G7 summit of the world’s richest nations in a small town in Cornwall.
Cornwall has recently become the most searched for location for house-hunters across the country, but thanks to the G7 summit that was hosted in Carbis Bay, near Newquay, between the 11th and 13th of June, searches for property in that particular coastal resort shot up by more than double in a single day, according to a report by online listings site Rightmove.
The Cornish resort has become the most sought-after coastal location for house-hunters, where the average house price currently stands at £384,243 – more than 6% higher than this time last year – and where some homes on the seafront fetch more than £1 million.
Discounted homes for key workers and local residents as flagship First Homes scheme launches
The first phase of a new government housing initiative – called First Homes and designed to get key workers and local residents their first step on the housing ladder – was launched in Bolsover in the East Midlands on the 4th of June.
The flagship scheme offers homes to buy at 30% less than their market price – for eligible first-time buyers such as local residents, NHS key workers, and armed forces veterans.
When one of the homes is subsequently resold, it will also be marketed with the same percentage discount – so ensuring that these particular homes are always sold below their comparable market value. This will be for the benefit of key workers, their families, and the wider local community for generations to come, insists the government press release.
Over half of homeowners live in homes that don’t meet their needs
More than half of all homeowners believe they are stuck in a home that doesn’t meet their needs - and stay there for an average of four years before doing something about it and moving on – according to a survey by online listing site Zoopla on the 3rd of June.
In their survey of 2,400 homeowners, 43.3% said that although their home met some of their needs it did not do so entirely. A further 8% said their current home didn’t meet their needs at all.
The most common reason given for a home’s unsuitability was its lack of sufficient space. Others considered the neighbourhood less than satisfactory or wanted a room dedicated as an office for working from home.
What prevented such disgruntled homeowners from moving straight away and instead sticking it out for a further four years was the need for additional funds – an extra £125,000 being the average amount typically required.