Green mortgages, green loans, green investment products … Sustainability has permeated the financial market, in which these types of offers are increasingly abundant. Not so much among customers, since less than 13% would be willing to pay more for a sustainable financial product. They are really more expensive or cheaper than the traditional ones?
When deciding to hire one of them, other incentives are more important, such as tax deductions (46% of those surveyed) and less taxes on the purchase (28.9%), in the case of sustainable housing, and Promotions and discounts (34.4%), as well as less taxes (28.2%), in the case of the ecological vehicle, according to a recent study carried out by Asufin.
As detailed, 12.9% of those surveyed would be willing to assume a higher price in exchange for allocating their money to a sustainable financial product or service. This percentage has experienced a slight increase compared to 2020 (11.3%), but it is not enough to offset that the majority, 87.1%, I would not put sustainability before price.
In the case of mortgages, a large majority admit that they need incentives to assume a purchase of a sustainable home: 46% declare that tax deductions are decisive and 28.9% would welcome a lower tax burden on the purchase. To this is added 15.1% that would value obtaining better mortgage conditions. In front of them, 10% say they do not need any additional argument to opt for a sustainable home.
As explained by the consumer association, the green mortgage market has undergone modifications this year. Last year’s study recorded the offer of Triodos Bank, Bankia, Santander and Cajamar to which they have joined Liberbank, BBVA, Bankinter and Banco Sabadell. The Cajamar product is no longer available this year and it must be taken into account that one of the entities with a product in the portfolio, Bankia, has merged with CaixaBank, which, for the moment, does not sell it. In addition, not only has the number of bidders increased, but also the offer has been diversified. We already find both variable and fixed mortgages and, in many cases, there are also subsidized ones in relation to the contracting of other products.
However, “the interest rate improvement for this type of product is very low, with cheaper mortgages on the market that do not require the home to be energy efficient,” they say. The average APR interest rate of the fixed green mortgage is 2.72% while that of the variable is 2.54%. If we take the conventional market averages as a reference, green ones are 0.22% more expensive (mean 2.5%) and the fixed ones, just 0.08% cheaper (mean 2.62%). “The very low reductions in the interest rate hardly represent a significant gain for the consumer,” they point out.
When it comes to loans, a large percentage of consumers also need incentives to buy, for example, an environmentally friendly vehicle. Up to 34.4% consider promotions or discounts important, and again taxation is behind 28.2% of cases, which values the lower tax burden, and the remaining 19% value obtaining better financing conditions. In front of them, 18.4% who do not need any incentive.
This market is also growing: five entities offered it in 2020 and eight in 2021. But it continues focusing especially on the purchase of ecological vehicle. Of the total loans marketed for sustainable purposes, Ibercaja and Santander offer loans for reforms that improve efficiency at home; Kutxabank sells a mixed product, valid both for housing reform and for the purchase of an ecological vehicle; while Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank and Sabadell offer specific loans for ecological vehicles.
The average rate, in the case of reform loans, is 6.65%. “Very competitive since it is 2.88% less than the average of long-term loans, “says Asufin. In the group of loans for ecological vehicles, it is 7.3%, 1.2% cheaper than the average financing vehicle specific.
“If in the case of mortgages and green loans we find a resistance from the consumer, who admits needing incentives via taxation or favorable market conditions, in the case of the sustainable investment we found a majority of consumers, up to 77%, who would opt for this option “, underlines the association.
72.3% bet on these products because believe they are profitable, while the rest value that there is a true commitment to social improvement.