As storms sweep across the UK we seem to be back to the same old question regarding flood cover across many of the country’s local property markets. We are now seeing areas of Cumbria submersed underwater leading to a flurry of evacuations for safety reasons. Over the last few years we have certainly seen an increase in volatile weather conditions and indeed the number of serious flood warnings. So, is your home susceptible to flooding and how might this impact the value?
Areas susceptible to flooding
Many areas of the UK are susceptible to flooding in light of prolonged rainfall – above normal levels. As a consequence, with further storms expected over the next few days, we will see yet more flood warnings. There are very few people who directly take into account the local environment when looking towards acquiring a property although there are various useful reports required to complete a purchase – take note!
The lowlands across the UK are more susceptible to flooding and those situated in the immediate vicinity of rivers. Thankfully over time we have seen an increase in the reliability of flood warnings but this still does not solve the long-term problem of potential property price erosion.
Over the last few years we have seen a number of emergency interventions by the UK government where insurance companies have refused to cover homes in areas regularly hit by floods. There has been talk of regulations to ensure that everybody is covered but very often it takes serious flooding for these regulations to kick in. If you are looking to acquire property in an area which is susceptible to flooding then you need to be aware of any insurance cover issues. Indeed even if cover is available it may be that it is extremely expensive in certain circumstances.
Spending on flood barriers
While there are a number of natural flood barriers across the UK there is a growing need for additional investment by the government. In these times of austerity there are concerns that under the radar the UK government is cutting back on such spending which is crazy in the longer term. We all appreciate that savings have to be made on the UK government’s budget but when you bear in mind the lack of new house builds across the country, a reduction in flood barrier spending is bizarre.
There has been talk of building new properties on what have historically been flood troubled areas although this would require additional investment in flood barriers. When you take into account the austerity measures kicking in across the board at this moment in time, additional investment in these areas would seem to be some way off.
As climate change continues across the world there is no doubt that flooding will become a major issue in the years to come. Government after government has passed the buck with nobody seemingly willing to put cold hard cash into the strengthening of UK flood barriers. However, as each government passes the buck to the next one we are fast approaching D-day.
The sooner that the electorate realises investment in UK flood barriers is nowhere near that required perhaps the sooner politicians will change their policies?