New research has revealed that almost half of first-time buyers have pulled out of a purchase because of environmental issues discovered part way through the buying journey.
When buying a home, there is far more to consider than the bricks and mortar building you’ve fallen in love with. The ground underneath a home and its immediate surrounding area presents all sorts of potential problems for buyers, a lesson that has been learned the hard way by 48% of first-time buyers who say they have had to pull out of a purchase due to environmental issues such as flood risk, subsidence and land contamination.
The most common reason for pulling out was flood risk, for which 56% of buyers have run away from a sale. Next is contaminated land for (52%), followed by subsidence (48)%; natural hazards (43%); nearby mining activity (41%); pollution levels (41%); noise pollution (39%); water quality (39%); nearby industrial activity (37%); radon gas (37%); and parking (32%).
Compliance Director at First Mortgage, David McGrail, says:
“If a buyer thinks their potential property could be at risk of environmental factors such as flooding, erosion or being more at risk to extreme weather, they should look to get a specialist surveyor in to make sure the property is properly built for this and if they need any specialist insurance.
“Climate change is something we cannot deny, and it is indeed having an impact on the health of our homes and the potential housing market.
“As we have seen recently in London, flooding is becoming more of an issue, not just in rural areas close to rivers, but also in cities and towns.
“Climate change will have an impact on future mortgage applications and when you consider that subsidence can knock 20% off a home’s value, or around £50,000 on the average home price, it can have an impact, and even make you more at risk of negative equity.”
When buyers discover environmental issues with and pull out of the purchase half-way through the buying journey, it is called a fall-through. Fall-throughs can result in broken chains – one house sale is dependent on another which itself is dependent on another, and so on – which is can cause huge inconvenience for yourself and all of your fellow chain members.
That’s why it’s important to conduct all of your surveys and checks as quickly as you possibly can. Not only will an early survey save you a lot of time, it will also save you significant sums of money by catching a problem early instead of too late.