Buying agents are making waves about the hit on asking prices suffered by properties that have been flooded or are at risk of future floods.
In a Daily Telegraph article the buying agent Jess Simpson - a former Savills director who has also worked for Strutt & Parker - admits there is little hard data on which to base reliable forecasts but says other blight issues such as excessive road noise could wipe 30 per cent off the value of a home.
“I would apply a similar blight discount to a property if it consistently floods” she says.
And Philip Harvey of high profile buying consultancy Property Vision tells the newspaper that serious flood risks could equate to “20 to 25 per cent” discounts over similar homes in the local area.
Meanwhile Stacks Property Search - another buying agency - has given Estate Agent Today an insight into how it will advise buying clients to approach the issue of floods when they look for a home.
“Anything that looks remotely at risk should obviously be scrutinised surgically” explains Stacks’ director James Greenwood.
“Your first stop should be the Environment Agency and the flood maps. The former will tell you the nearest property to yours that has flooded, and the latter will tell you whether the property you are looking at is in an area of risk.
“Neighbours and local knowledge are equally useful resources - if there are any flooding stories to be told, you will hear them if you ask the right questions. Ask specifically about the last five years - if a property hasn’t flooded in this period, the risk is probably good.
“Find out if you would have a problem obtaining a mortgage and whether the property is insurable. If it’s a ‘no’ to either of these questions, you are taking on a big risk, not least in terms of resale.”
He continues: “People who know their property runs the risk of flooding may well choose high summer to market when the warning signs of flooding are least apparent. This is the most dangerous time to be viewing property in a climate that is likely to see more of the kind of extreme weather we have been experiencing.
“Look out for any hint of water anywhere – a trickle of a stream, or even a dried-up river bed, can present a very different picture after the deluges we have endured. Equally, beautiful water meadows, full of summer wildflowers, and dry underfoot, can present a potential hazard.
"Look out for evidence of water, and if you find it, investigate further. Properties in a valley, or in a dip at the bottom of a steep hill may be at risk, even if there is no evidence of water.”