Can Property be Net-Zero by 2050? - Blog

Can Property be Net-Zero by 2050?

Can Property be Net-Zero by 2050?

Industry Comment Default Author 22nd April 2024

In a new episode of The Home Stretch podcast, Anna Clare Harper, CEO of, joined CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie, to explore improving the quality and energy efficiency of existing homes, to reach net-zero. They look into the impact that these changes are having on investors as well as he private rental sector and addressing the shortage of high-quality, energy-efficient rental homes in the UK.



Harper brings a wealth of experience to the discussion, having spent over a decade allocating private capital in the UK housing market, having previously worked as a strategy consultant at Deloitte. As the head of GreenResi, she now focuses on assisting institutions in acquiring and managing portfolios of individual rental homes at scale. Reflecting on her journey, she comments, "looking at the shortage of rental homes from various angles led to the inception of GreenResi. I witnessed the challenges faced by institutional investors entering the private rental sector and recognised the potential of technology and data to bridge the gap." 

Harper comments on the recent budget announcement, stating, “Housing is used as a political football a lot of the time and typically what we have is electoral cycles that are quite short term, but actually things like net zero and upgrading the whole of our housing, are really long-term goals." McKenzie agrees, advocating for a change to the approach for housing policy, stating, "housing should be removed from political control and approached with a long-term plan spanning 30 to 50 years. We cannot afford to flip-flop every few years when so much change is needed."

The episode also highlights concerning statistics, with Harper revealing, "Since 2016, around 400,000 private rental sector homes have been lost, while only about 90,000 units have been rented out so far. This supply-demand imbalance poses a significant challenge." 

McKenzie adds, "With a waiting list of 1.2 million in temporary accommodation, and platforms like Airbnb reducing available rental stock, we are facing a critical shortage of housing." 

In response, Harper warns, "if we don't address the decline in available rental homes, there will be fewer properties available for retrofitting, exacerbating the housing crisis."

To hear this conversation in full and for further insights into the 'race to net-zero' in the property sector and the critical role of innovation and policy in achieving sustainability goals, visit The Home Stretch podcast.

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