Add value to your home with smart technology

Consumer Editor Lindsay Blair takes a look at the latest research from Barclays suggesting now’s the time to invest in hi-tech systems

TODO alt text

In today’s homes it’s possible to control a whole host of systems, fixtures, fittings and appliances through an app, including your heating and hot water, washing machine and fridge and security systems. Plus, if you wanted to, you could control your bed temperature, coffee machine, shower and kettle without going anywhere near them. However, the rise in app-controlled home technology does beg the question – do we really need it?

Could tech add value to your property?

The latest research suggests that carefully selected home technology could have great benefits on your property and wallet – adding significant value to your home’s market price. The latest Barclays Mortgages Digital Homes Report found that demand for homes fitted with digital technology such as smart heating, high-speed internet and energy use monitoring systems is on the up, with prospective buyers willing to pay an extra £775 for a new home already equipped with modern solutions.

The report also found that some people are willing to pay £10,000 more for a property that is ahead of the curve – one of the biggest developments to the property market in recent years.

With USB connection sockets around the house, super-fast broadband, smart meters and solar panels being among the most sought-after technologies, the research shows that 41 per cent of us already have some form of smart technology installed, and that 27 per cent saying that a home with hi-tech features is more appealing than one without.

4. CREDIT Solar CenturyC21e-interlock-tile copy

Look out for solar panels which blend seamlessly into roof tiles for a streamlined finish that looks more attractive overall. Image credit: Solar Century

The top connected technology that homeowners would pay extra for are:

  1. Solar panels
  2. Fibre-optic cable allowing super-fast internet
  3. Smart security alarm
  4. Sensor technology
  5. Smart thermostat

While people are less likely to pay for:

  1. Smart fridge
  2. Smart oven
  3. Smart doorbell
  4. Induction hob
  5. Mobile signal box

So, what does the future look like?

While hover boards and robots to help around the house haven’t quite caught on yet, the report did find that what homeowners really want are technologies that will save money and time, with cutting the cost of utility bills one of the biggest incentives. The biggest investments to help monitor energy usage will be USB sockets for easy device charging (36 per cent of homeowners), smart meters (35 per cent) and smart thermostats (27 per cent).

By 2020, the experts predict appliances that report accurate energy consumption figures to help balance bills will be completely standard, while heat sensors that change the temperature of a room will become popular, too.

2. Nest pg102

The latest generation of heating controls can automate your system and potentially lower your energy bills. Nest’s intelligent thermostat learns your exact heating patterns to constantly minimise the energy required. It costs around £180, but can result in savings of around £200 per year

I caught up with Amanda Lamb, a spokesperson for Barclays Mortgages Digital Homes Report and UK property expert, to find out how homeowners can really benefit from smart tech, and how it’s changing the face of the property market.

How are UK homeowners getting on board with smart home technology?

  • 27% of British homebuyers find a property equipped with smart tech more appealing
  • 41% already have hi-tech solutions in their home
  • £775 – the amount buyers are willing to pay as extra for a home that has smart heating and appliances
  • £10,000 – how much some will pay for a property that is ahead of the technology trend curve
  • Solar panels are the most enticing technology for buyers, followed by super-fast broadband and smart security systems
  • The least desirable technologies are induction hobs and a mobile signal box
  • Southampton is the most tech-savvy city in the UK with more than half of people already having a smart technology at home
  • Homeowners in York and London are the biggest spenders on home technology (on average £1,583), while those in Edinburgh and Norwich invest the least (on average £585)

So, if you look around you now, what smart technology do you have nearby and will you be the next to invest in the latest time and money-saving solutions? A smart energy meter is first on my list.