This weeks flooding in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire comes hard on the heels of the devastation in Sheffield and the North East earlier in the month. Rainfall records are being broken across the country and ironically only flat, reclaimed East Anglia has escaped without serious flood damage. The impact of 2007 floods will be felt for a long time to come but there is one significant outcome to already dampen the spirits of effected homeowners.
Property website Primemove.com which closely monitors both the buying and selling trends is looking out for the results of the floods on the habits of the buying public.
Commenting on the possible impact, Henry Pryor, spokesman and commentator said “Graphic reports on television and in the newspapers have shown the appalling conditions that so many have had to endure recently, first in the north of the country and now in the West. Despite the Governments’ announcement today that we should continue to build on traditional flood plains where possible there is bound to be a knock on effect as house buyers shun these types of properties in prone areas. Information on areas at risk is now available to the buying public on-line via the Environment Agency and other similar sites and vendors and estate agents have a legal duty if asked to disclose any history of flooding.
“It will take some time for purchasers to forget the images they are seeing today of flooded out properties and displaced people and until they do, there be a reluctance to buy a new property in an area at risk of flooding. Four years ago, insurers threatened to withdraw cover from some Fenland properties which some feared would make them un-saleable. The cost of the 2007 floods could well cause insurance companies to look again at the risk they are writing and anyone left without cover could see a reduction in the value of their home of up to 25%.
“It’s too early to see any signs of this at present as the market traditionally pauses during the summer holidays” says Pryor “but when it returns in September and the clearing up has got underway we may start to see a change in buyer habits with a corresponding impact on prices.”