Air conditioning is commonplace in households across many countries, but remains a desired but rare feature in UK homes. However, as we start to see increasingly warm summers and more prolonged heat waves throughout the UK we can expect to see air conditioning quickly rising to the top of homebuyers’ priorities.
Buyers are searching for homes with air conditioning
Recent data revealed by property listing website Rightmove gives us a glimpse into how air conditioning is starting to be prioritised by buyers.
The property site reports that searches for homes with air conditioning soared last year, stating that “searches for homes for sale with air conditioning tripled in a year (+234%).”
The data revealed that renters too are looking for homes with air conditioning systems installed. According to Rightmove, “searches for homes available to rent with air conditioning also increased by 74% in a year.”
Does air conditioning affect the value of a property?
Air conditioning is not something that has been readily available in the UK, which means there is not large amounts of data available that shows definitively how much it adds to a property.
Based on our previous experiences and industry knowledge, we expect air conditioning to increase the value of a property by around 5% – 10% overall. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average UK house price is £285,000. This means that installing air conditioning could add as much as £21,375 to the average property in the UK.
We did also look at houses currently on the market to try and get an idea of price differences. We looked at over 22,000 properties being sold in the UK to see which did and did not have air conditioning, and the price comparison between both.
However it’s important to note that the standard of homes being sold with air conditioning is higher than it would be for comparable homes that don’t have air con in every room. As a result, the prices being sought for homes with air conditioning are significantly greater than the asking prices of similar properties without air conditioning.
The research showed that the houses with air conditioning were being sold at an average of £2,715,524 in the UK. This was 4.5 times (79%) more than those without air conditioning.
In terms of installation costs, this can start at an average of around £1,500 depending on the size of the property, but can increase dramatically if the property is large and it is installed in multiple rooms. However, with house prices expected to rise by 6% over the next five years and the money that can be saved if your air conditioning unit is properly looked after and fitted correctly, it is definitely a worthy investment.
The benefits of air conditioning
Air conditioning doesn’t just increase the value of a home, of course. It also enables homeowners to keep their properties at a consistent, comfortable temperature no matter what the weather happens to be. This is of enormous benefit, particularly during the hottest weeks of the year when all talk turns to the best ways to keep cool.
Take a look at some of the other benefits of air conditioning below, to see why the installation of air conditioning is driving up property prices all over the UK.
Air quality: Air conditioning does much more than simply reducing the temperature of a room. It also improves air quality, which is great for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses or allergies. Air conditioning is brilliantly effective at removing pollutants from the air, so it’s perfect when the pollen count is soaring.
Humidity: Rising humidity can be a problem in many UK homes, but this is another issue that air conditioning can resolve. Air conditioning units are designed to help control humidity levels, meaning that issues such as mould and damp can be easily kept at bay.
Noise pollution: Few of us are lucky enough to live in peaceful, quiet areas where noise is never a disturbance – and when all the windows are open in the summer, external noise can become even more irritating. Air conditioning resolves this problem, keeping rooms cool without having to open windows and let the noise in.
Safety and security: In the same way as it helps to solve the problem of external noise, air con is also beneficial from a security perspective. Having air conditioning enables homeowners to keep windows and doors closed, limiting the security risks associated with any windows that might be accidentally left open, or doors left unlocked.
Productivity: It can be difficult to concentrate when it’s uncomfortably hot, and this can impact productivity levels – particularly for those who work for home. High temperatures also make it difficult to sleep, and this tiredness too dampens our productivity. Air conditioning is therefore a real driver of better productivity levels.
Air conditioning is moving from a luxurious add-on to a must-have for the home, and now summer temperatures are remaining higher for longer, we can expect to see increasing numbers of homeowners searching exclusively for properties with air conditioning systems installed.
This research has shown how prospective homeowners are already starting to prioritise air conditioning during their search for a new property, and how air conditioning is affecting house prices in some UK regions as a result. Looking ahead, we predict that many more homebuyers will be keeping an eye out for energy-efficient air conditioning options as they search for their next property.