Fear of floods now impacting new home purchases

Fear of floods now impacting new home purchases

Nine in ten Brits are so concerned by the increased possibility of flooding that it’s now affecting their purchasing decisions when buying a new home.  

The acceleration of global warming and climate change has led to more unpredictable and extreme weather patterns meaning that heavy rainfall events and flooding is expected to become more common.

The research, conducted by plumbing and drainage manufacturer Wavin, revealed this fear of flooding is now evident amongst those in the housing market with 71% deeming flood defences, including sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), as important factors when purchasing a house.  

A 2022 Bank of England report* only contributed to this growing fear with bankers reporting that the cost of flood risk coverage is set to skyrocket indefinitely over the next 30 years if urgent action isn’t taken on climate change. 

Another recent report suggested that by 2050, one in six properties in England will be hit by flooding. The alarming assessment by researchers covers 4.8 million properties sold between 2006 and 2022, with the regions most vulnerable to flooding including East Anglia, North West, and Yorkshire.

With this adding to the homebuyers’ fears, Wavin revealed that insurance premiums were considered important to 99% of those surveyed. 

Fortunately, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers is working to make the flood cover aspect of household insurance policies more affordable. With hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK potentially becoming harder to insure because they’re at high risk of flooding, Flood Re will provide much needed support by lowering premiums for at-risk households. 

With flooding becoming a very real fear for buyers, potential homeowners are now eager to find out what developers are doing to protect their new homes. An overwhelming 98% of those surveyed by Wavin agreed that they would like to know the detail of any flood prevention measures in place before buying a home.

Wavin has revealed that flood defences such as sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are among the initiatives that homebuyers are willing to pay more for when selecting a new home. Unfortunately, many potential buyers are unaware of what SuDS actually are, which calls for urgent action to raise awareness.

Shockingly, 72% of respondents admitted to never having heard of SuDS and according to Wavin the lack of awareness surrounding this crucial flood prevention measure is deeply concerning.

Martin Lambley, Product Manager for Urban Climate Resilience Northwest Europe, UK, and Ireland at Wavin, said: “Developers and housebuilders who gloss over the benefits of SuDS are selling themselves short, flood resilience is  now becoming a major factor when purchasing a home, as the research shows.

“Schedule 3 legislation of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010) that will make sustainable drainage mandatory on new developments will mean that developers will need to become fluent in SuDS, and the findings of this research clearly demonstrate that the housebuilding industry should see it as an opportunity rather than an obligation.”  

With new builds set to be protected by SuDS it’s no surprise that 2022 saw an unprecedented surge in the popularity of new build houses, with a staggering 84% of potential buyers considering homes within new developments. 

For more information and to download Wavin’s report, visit: https://blog.wavin.com/en-gb/value-of-sustainable-drainage-systems-suds-to-new-home-buyers   

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