Living place. Buying an “energy filter”, can it be a good deal?

From August 24 rental homeowners whose energy performance diagnosis is classified as F or G can no longer raise the rent. A consequence of Climate and Resilience Law approved in July 2021.

And this is just a first step. As of January 1, 2023, G-rated accommodations can no longer be rented to a new occupant. On January 1, 2028, class F homes will continue. And on January 1, 2034, all class E homes.

A great cleaning is being prepared in the real estate market. The opportunity to set the record straight, according to Étienne Duhot, project manager at Hellio, a specialist in energy saving: “Renting accommodation that consumes a lot of energy is indecent. » Indecent for the tenant in the face of rampant inflation, indecent for the planet at a time when we must limit our greenhouse gas emissions.

hesitant owners

A change that will not be an easy task. F and G dwellings represent 17% of the main residences, that is, 5.2 million of the 30 million main residences in France. The figure even rises to 7.2 million, or more than 19% of the total stock, if we add second homes and unoccupied homes.

Not all homeowners are ready to embark on insulation work, which can be expensive. Olivier Colcombet, president of Digit RE Group, a company specializing in real estate appraisal, distinguishes between two scenarios: “The young investor, who sees the long term, can allocate between €15,000 and €20,000 to energy rehabilitation, but those over 65 who had this property to improve their retirement will think twice. »

It has already started to do so. Étienne Duhot hopes to receive “a dozen requests a day from owners who haven’t decided to sell yet but ask what can be done. We are also highly demanded by property managers and real estate agency networks.”

Also read: MAP. Housing: how many energy sieves are in your apartment?

Will the house be sold soon?

What will those who cannot or do not want to work do? Some are still waiting for some adjustments in the calendars, or even repeals. “Someone who shows with a strong case that renovation is impossible without losing too much rental space, who knows,” Étienne Duhot advances, thinking for example of the utility rooms in Paris.

Owners can also decide to take their property off the market or put it up for rent. on tourist platforms such as AirBnB, that are not subject to the DPE. “This could cause rental tension in certain sectors”, says Oliver Colcombet. We have already talked about the servants’ quarters in Paris, we can also think of some old houses on the coast…

Last option, and this is where good deals can be found, owners can sell their property, even if it means selling it. “At the moment, we are not seeing massive arrivals on the market. But most owners still don’t know the deadlines.” observes Olivier Colombet.

Also read: TESTIMONY. “Owner, I have to do insulation work, my accommodation is classified G”

Real estate professionals agree on one point: so far there has been no premium for well-classified homes and no depreciation for lame ducks. “But in a few months, there may be opportunities. Until now, the sellers had the advantage, but the balance of power is being reversed. Everything will depend on the tension of the market”, adds Martin Menez.

Clearly, a heated screen will discount less depending on its location. “In Paris, in Haussmannian buildings, you have nothing above E. An apartment in Place des Vosges, even in F or G, will not move”Martin Menez points out. On the contrary, some owners will be forced to lower their prices in less attractive sectors. One thing is certain: “Within ten years, the difference in price between a good with a good energy balance and a bad one will be substantial”, warns Olivier Colcombet.

Properly assess the discount-work relationship

To get the right deal, you need to get out the calculator. Bevouac is currently preparing a budget for the energy rehabilitation works of the properties that the company has recently sold. “So far, fifteen properties have been analyzed. This does not give a precise figure but rather an order of magnitude. It is €280 of work per m² to go from G to D and about €400 per m² to go from G to B”, Martin Menez details.

For the business to be profitable, it is therefore necessary to properly assess the discount-work ratio: simply, the discount must be greater than the work done. For example, a property sold so far at €3,000 per m² must present a drop of more than €400 if we want to take it to B. “The important thing is to measure what you buy well, look at the state of the property, make a counter visit with a trusted craftsman before signing the commitment”, adds Martin Menez.

Étienne Duhot also insists on the type of purchase: “In a house, you do what you want. From an apartment, you can depend on the exterior insulation, on what the condominium decides. And so, it is better to avoid a ground floor or top floor apartment and prefer fully adjoining accommodation. »

Taking these precautions, the pitfalls are not lacking: extremely high cost of materials, availability of labor, increasingly complicated bank lending, particularly in rental real estate, possible supervision or rent topping depending on the sector…

ECD, “a dark science”

And then, once the job is done, we should hope that we don’t have any unpleasant surprises with the DPE. a survey of What to choose points the finger at the quality of the energy efficiency diagnoses (EPD) of the dwellings, with sometimes very important discrepancies.

“I wish I could tell you there’s no risk, but it’s still hard to rationalize. Sometimes it seems that ECD is still a dark science.” acknowledges Martin Menez. Though “a substantial investment (insulating the walls, the attic, changing the frames, etc.) should avoid unpleasant surprises. »

Olivier Colcombet also points out that the DPE is now enforceable, meaning that a buyer can turn against the seller andI am good the diagnostician if the diagnosis was made incorrectly, and includes an indicative evaluation of the work.

For Etienne Duhot, “An energy audit, carried out by a thermal engineer, in addition to the DPE is essential. It is even mandatory before starting. For a power filter purchase to turn out to be a good deal, the project must be well anticipated and well supported. »

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