Data snapshot: The sustainability challenges facing UK real estate

The need to update old buildings to meet efficiency standards is the biggest barrier to progress, according to a report from Investec.

The proportion of existing buildings that must be updated to meet environmental standards is the biggest sustainability-related issue facing UK real estate, according to a report from Investec.

The wealth management and banking group gathered opinion from 50 institutional investors investing in UK real estate to compile the report, with respondents’ collective assets under management totalling £442 billion ($538 billion; €509 billion).

When it comes to sustainability challenges, over a third of respondents (35 percent) identified the large number of outdated buildings as the primary factor hindering the further development of sustainability in the sector. Seventy percent of dwellings in the UK were made before the year 2000, per the report, and will need to be improved to meet efficiency goals. Just 1 percent of investors felt that there were no significant challenges.

More than three quarters (78 percent) of respondents suggested that they were likely to seek sustainability-linked financing over the next 12 months. This is despite most investors (76 percent) acknowledging that sustainability has fallen down their priority lists amid recent market uncertainty.