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Jonathan Rolande: What will ULEZ expansion mean for estate agents?

The roll out of ULEZ has been one of the big stories of the week. The new zones will have implications for the property market. Jonathan Rolande explains the opportunities and challenges.

Like it or loathe it, I think we probably all need to accept that UItra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) are probably now going to be a permenant part of our lives. 

As someone who visits the capital a lot, but rarely drives, it’s not something that particularly concerns or troubles me. 


Where I think we need to be careful is getting a situation where the scheme can become the norm in towns and cities where there isn’t a particularly big issue with pollution or congestion and the public transport system isn’t as efficient as London.

I have huge sympathy for those who rely on driving in major cities for work. And although the £2,000 payments for scrappage will help some, many will be out of pocket at a time when we are really feeling the squeeze. 

But, on the flip side, I think most people would agree we all want to breathe cleaner air. And we all want to create an environment which is more sustainable.  

There are also, it has to be said, some positive aspects in relation to ULEZ for estate agents and for the property sector more widely. 

Eventually, it could lead to a rise in demand. Properties located within or near ULEZ zones might become more attractive due to improved air quality and reduced traffic congestion. This increased demand could potentially lead to more transactions and commissions for estate agents operating in those areas.

ULEZ will also have implications in relation to value proposition. Estate agents could market properties in ULEZ zones as more environmentally friendly and healthier living options. This unique selling point might help agents differentiate their listings and attract environmentally-conscious buyers as well as families concerned for their children’s health.

Estate agents should expect a change in buyer preferences in some areas as a result of ULEZ. If there's a growing trend of buyers preferring properties in areas with better air quality and sustainability features, estate agents who specialise in these locations might benefit from increased business.

But as well as opportunities, ULEZ presents challenges for estate agents too. One is around knowledge and communication. Estate agents need to stay updated on ULEZ rules and their implications to provide accurate information to clients. Explaining the intricacies of ULEZ rules and their potential impact on property values might require additional effort.

It could also create market uncertainty: Whenever new regulations are introduced, a ripple of doubt affects the market. Estate agents might need to navigate questions and concerns from buyers and sellers who are unsure about the potential effects on property values and demand.

We all must be ready in the sector for potential opposition too. In some cases, property owners might resist ULEZ rules if they perceive them as causing inconvenience or added costs. Estate agents could face challenges in marketing properties where owners are opposed to these rules.

Right now there is a lot of noise around ULEZ, a lot of it linked to politics and the idea it could become a dividing issue ahead of the next General Election.

Politicians would be better placed coming up with policies designed to stimulate the market - rather than bickering over one which, in reality, will probably have a very minor impact in the long run. It’s generally accepted that clean air is a good thing. Can we please now think in the same way about water?

  • Rob Hailstone

    "ULEZ is showing up on my local searches now. A lady on BBC Breakfast recently was complaining it would cost her £12.50 a day and her job is a carer so she relies on her car to provide a service for others. Her hourly pay is £12 an hour.

    This may scupper some people’s plans buying in the area (although conveyancers are not checking affordability) it may become an issue." Bold Legal Group Member

  • Proper Estate Agent

    ULEZ is just another money scam... what's this joke from above "Eventually, it could lead to a rise in demand." dear or dear


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