As flood warnings continue to emerge on a regular basis across the UK, this has introduced a new factor to the UK real estate market, potential floods and the damage they can cause to the local community and individual properties. It is very easy to automatically assume that across the UK there is little likelihood of flood damage to your property, at least to the level we have seen over the last few days. We have literally seen properties washed away, communities cut off from the rest of the UK and today we see the Army has been called in to help.
There are already many factors to take into consideration with regards to your real estate investments, location is certainly one of them and it looks as though the potential for floods is a new factor we will have to come to terms with. It would be wrong to suggest that floods hitting the UK today are a one-off because there are many areas hit on a regular basis. The fact that some of the more at risk areas are often “below sea level” obviously brings its own problems.
Who is to blame?
There is no doubt that the UK government, both the current government and previous governments, have cut back investment in flood defences. Indeed the issues impacting many in the UK today have been made much worse by a lack of forward planning and a lack of investment. Just when you think the floods are starting to subside we hear news of yet more damaging weather on the way – adding to the turmoil.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “The flooding in the South West in terrible, is the extra 30 million the government has pledged for repairs going to be enough ? and more importantly will the defences work to avoid it happening again ??”
The UK government has been forced to step in with regards to flood insurance for properties most at risk although whether it has done enough to date remains to be seen. Some areas of the UK will receive UK government support to ensure they are sufficiently covered in the event of more floods in years to come. There is some debate as to whether the more frequent floods occurring, not just in the UK but also around the world, are a result of global warming and environmental issues. Once the current issues in the UK have been addressed, and effected communities have recovered, the UK authorities and the insurance sector will need to put together a more structured plan of attack for future floods.
Flood risk has always been there
Even though the vast majority of investors across the UK may not necessarily be aware that property flood damage is a regular event in some areas, this is an issue which has been ongoing for many years now. It is likely to be an ongoing part of the investment process in years to come along with an array of other factors which impact the attractions of any individual property investment. Hopefully we will see more investment in flood defences, a more secure and appropriate insurance system in place and a far swifter response in the future to what we are seeing today.