Extreme heat driving demand for cool homes at Holland Park Gate
Consecutive summer sales records at Lodha UK’s Holland Park Gate signals step change in demand for cooled homes in response to growing heat intensity.
Between 30% and 40% of sales at Holland Park Gate now occur in the summer months of July and August, traditionally two of the company’s quietest sales months, with higher summer activity spilling into September as well. There is growing awareness among consumers that extreme heat events – globally and in London – are becoming more frequent and longer in duration, and the unseasonable demand is driven by the desire for homes with in-built cooling systems and greater heat resilience.
Recent research has shown that the UK is expected to experience a 30% increase in the number of days of uncomfortably hot temperatures and the “largest relative variation in cooling demand” globally. A record temperature of 40.2 degrees was recorded in St. James’s Park in 2022. Meanwhile, extreme heat is making many places around the world virtually uninhabitable during July and August.
Many buildings in the UK and northern Europe were designed to trap heat in the cold seasons and can become swelteringly hot in the summer. Extreme heat can have a very negative effect on people’s lives, resulting in poor sleep quality that in turn can affect mood, health and performance at work or school, and we are meeting dozens of people who have suffered the consequences of overheating and are now deciding to take action by moving home. Many have found that retrofitting comfort cooling or air conditioning into their existing homes comes with practical challenges and aesthetic compromises, and owners of listed properties have discovered that it is virtually impossible to do.
Tom Clabburn, Sales Director at Lodha UK comments: “As worldwide temperatures have soared we have experienced a sharp increase in interest from buyers seeking cooler, more comfortable homes. Many of these enquiries have come from local residents looking to upgrade from nearby period properties without cooling systems, as well as international buyers relocating from hotter climates often reaching over 50 degrees. New build developments are increasingly becoming the solution to rising temperatures, as buyers favour comfort cooling and increased energy efficiency. We expect this trend to continue throughout September and October as purchasers experience the after-effects of summer heat.”
At Holland Park Gate, residences benefit from discreet comfort cooling (frequently referred to as ‘air-con’), ensuring cooler temperatures throughout hotter months. The development is fitted with carefully designed high-performance glazing to limit ‘solar gain’ – the increase in temperature experienced by a building from solar radiation. This also serves to reduce the burden on cooling systems, with the consequent low energy use reducing the development’s environmental footprint.
Further measures have also been taken to limit the amount of refrigerant gas needed to serve the development by installing packaged water chillers. The refrigerants used have been certified ‘low global warming potential’ and ‘zero ozone depletion potential’. Features such as these make new build developments attractive options for buyers seeking cooler temperatures without a heavy environmental impact.
As the growing frequency and duration of extreme heat events enters the collective consciousness, and stronger social emphasis is placed on the creation of low-carbon, environmentally conscious homes we expect to see an accelerating rotation away from uncooled period homes into modern buildings with cooling systems and heat resistant properties, ultimately creating a two tier market between the cooled and uncool-able.