National Home Buyers: Climitate Change Hits Property Market

National Homebuyers, the UK’s largest consumer facing property purchasing company, today issued a warning to homeowners and home purchasers to consider environmental changes whilst making decisions in the property market

[ClickPress, Wed Jun 21 2006] National Homebuyers have witnessed an upturn in enquiries from property owners that have seen their open market values slashed due to floods, or shifting foundations caused by previous droughts.

Recent worldwide research suggests the world is reaching a tipping point in the environment that will affect the UK. The changes at the moment include Southern Spain turning to desert, glaciers in the Alps disappearing, and droughts in the Mediterranean worsening. Further afield, Siberian roads buckle due to melting permafrost, and increasing sea temperatures cause storms and hurricanes resulting in landslides and floods.

The knock on impact to the UK includes the increased risk of storm damage, especially at coastal areas and flooding in the Thames estuary, and eastern England, from higher levels of rainwater running downstream, swelling rivers, and higher sea levels pushing water upstream.

Other impacts could include increased coastal erosion and deposition levels, lower temperatures and freezing winters and changes in drying soil that could damage foundations as early as this summer. All this could affect property, and it’s ability to be mortgaged, sold, and insured.

Moreover, the current Government departments continue to contradict themselves, with the Environment Agency issuing severe warnings about climate change and flooding, and the recently re-branded ODPM, the Department for Communities and Local Government continues to encourage the building of houses on flood plains.

National Homebuyers believe it is time for the UK property market to start to filter this crucial research into their decisions. They believe house-hunters as well as homeowners must consider environmental concerns more carefully in their property market choices. Homebuyers also need to pay closer attention to current research, and find out where they live could be affected, and how these effects will alter their property and property price.

Though facts and figures are still disputed, homeowners had a severe warning during the floods of 2000, with large amounts of flooding in Sussex, York, and the Thames valley ruining properties, slashing their value. The subsequent redrawing of flood maps made many properties un-sellable via the open market, uninsurable, and un-mortgagable.

Currently, five million people in two million properties in England and Wales live in flood risk areas. However, according to a survey by the Environment Agency, 41% are unaware of the threat. The recent survey by the World Wildlife Fund also predicted an increase in storms by 25% in the UK, with London the city most at risk

David Harber, Communications Manager, National Homebuyers, stated; “Until recently, many homeowners’ environmental considerations when buying a property were whether the pipes were lagged.

However, buying a home is often a long-term investment, and people are starting to consider what is likely to happen to their property in the future. We are seeing an upturn in enquires from people who’s property saleability or insurance has been affected by natural conditions, such as the redrawing of the flood maps.

The storm of October 16th / 17th, 1987, as well as the floods of 2000 stand as recent evidence of how nature can affect people in the UK. Large numbers of homes could be at risk if serious storms and floods become more regular. This could also affect insurance companies, which lost heavily during these times. The flooding in York in 2000, for example, caused £1.3 million in damages.”


Editors Notes

National Homebuyers is the largest UK consumer facing property-purchasing company, offering a complete home purchasing service. Their mission is to help homeowners sell their homes as quickly as they require, removing as much stress as possible.

National Homebuyers guarantee to make an offer to buy any property, residential or commercial, regardless of condition, state of repair or location. They will make an offer regardless of personal circumstances of the vendor.

National Homebuyers operates in a totally transparent way, being the only company using independent RICS Chartered Surveyors to gain a genuine value on properties.

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