Flanders: after energy score, now also mobility score for houses
The Flemish government wants to give houses a kind of accessibility score. Homes that are easily accessible and close to schools, shops, and public transport will get a higher rate, a so-called Mobiscore (Mobility score). The principle is comparable with the EPC score (Energy Performance Certificate) for the energy efficiency of houses.
The Flemish Department for the Environment and Minister for the Environment and Nature, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V), have introduced the Mobiscore on Tuesday. They’re simultaneously launching a new website where anybody can check how sustainable a particular location is. The only thing you need is the address.
The Mobiscore only has a sensitizing effect, and no real financial or fiscal consequences. Real estate agents can use it in advertisements and on their sites. The idea for a Mobiscore was suggested earlier by former Minister for the Environment, Joke Schauvliege (CD&V) but coalition partners, Open Vld and N-VA considered it ‘busybodying’.
Flemish master builder, Leo van Broek, however, is happy with the initiative. “Our transport activities represent 40% of all CO2 emissions by individuals, and the impact of remote houses on our ecologic footprint is huge,” he says.
According to some real estate agents, mobility already is one of the arguments when looking for a new home. People wonder if there is enough parking capacity, for instance. And also the presence of public transport options plays an important role, especially for the youngest generations. So, it is no wonder that bicycle use and alternative transport means have become increasingly popular in the last few years, especially for commuting.
Real estate agents are convinced the Mobiscore will affect the prices of real estate in the long term. “Just like the EPC score did,” says Wim Peleman of the Antwerp First Immo office. “First, it didn’t seem to affect the price, but in the meantime, it is partly defining the price of real estate.”
Master builder Van Broek sees it as a ‘transition machine’ that will, in time, discourage people from buying distant properties.