Leading valuer predicts whole property market will be affected by floods

George F.White maximising value logo.
George F.White maximising value logo.

As the flooding moves North today and leaves the devastation in the South West and Midlands to be cleared up, one of the UK’s leading valuers of property warned that this will have an impact on the property market.

Hugh Fell, Managing Partner of George F White, one of the North East’s largest property surveyors said: “The floods we are seeing today will mean those properties affected will be worth less money when they come to sell.

“This fall in value is exacerbated by the failure of the Government and the Association of British Insurers to sort out insurance cover for properties at risk of flooding.

“It is not possible to get a mortgage on a property that is uninsurable and as 80% of house buyers require a mortgage; this reduces the number of potential purchasers and will have a huge impact on the property market as whole.”

Fell also predicts a ‘deluge’ of negligence claims where people haven’t been properly advised about flood risk.

“Solicitors and Surveyors need to get a grip on flooding - they have been slack in the past about properly researching and advising on this risk on behalf of clients,”

He said, “this means that even today, as the rain pours down and property becomes inundated with water, people are exchanging contracts in complete ignorance that the value of their investment will inevitably fall in value.

“Individuals buying houses, and investors buying commercial premises, need to understand precisely what they are doing within the context of flood risk. I’d advise anyone considering purchasing a property to get a proper survey to assess flood risk and carefully research insurance options before buying.”

Hugh Fell has set up Water-Value, a specialist consultancy on water, helping land and property owners to manage water as an asset or a liability. He sits on the RICS National Flood Working Group, Chairs the RICS Working Group on the Valuation of Water as a Separate Resource and was the lead author on the RICS guidance on the Valuation of Rural Property.