Pollution website could drive down property prices
Sep 18, 2019
A new online tool helps Londoners to seek discounts by revealing the level of air pollution of individual properties. Get a free Air Quality Report for your Chiswick address.
Research reveals that if Londoners are aware that the house or flat they are looking to buy or rent breaches World Health Organisation safety limits for air quality, then 36% would look for a discount on the sale price or monthly rent. As many as 58% would ‘withdraw their offer completely’.
The website uses data from King’s College London to give every London postcode an accurate, annualised reading of Nitrogen Dioxide. An Air Quality Report then details specific health and financial costs for residents.
EFFECT OF DATA ON PROPERTY PRICES
However, if Londoners are told that the house or flat they are looking to buy or rent breaches World Health Organization safety limits for air quality, then 36% would look for a discount on the sale price or monthly rent, and as many as 58% would ‘withdraw their offer completely’.
Around 92% of Londoners claimed that increased risk of death due to air pollution would prevent them from buying a specific property in that area, if it was brought to their attention.
A resounding 76% of Londoners believe that discounts should apply to properties available to rent or buy, in areas which breach legal limits for air pollution and are likely to have a negative impact on occupants’ health.
After presenting you with a report the website makes it easy to lobby your council with local solutions and demand action nationally through your MP. This is a initiative. Central Office of Public Interest (COPI) is a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) that runs campaigns for people and the planet, not profits.
HOW ARE HEATH AND FINANCIAL COSTS CALCULATED?
Health costs were sourced from published academic studies on the impact of air pollution.
Although they may be aware of the overall negative impact of air pollution on quality of life across the city, two-thirds of Londoners have low or limited understanding of the air pollution rating in the area where they currently live. Similarly, roughly two-thirds of Londoners do not consider air pollution as a factor in deciding where to buy or rent property.
HOW DOES THE RATING SYSTEM WORK?
There are five bands that each go up in increments of 15 micrograms per cubic metre. Low 0-15, Medium 15-30, Significant 30-45, High 45-60 and Very High 60+.
WHY IS MY RATING DIFFERENT TO WHAT I EXPECTED?
Higher than expected ratings might be due to busy roads or junctions nearby. High-rise buildings can trap air pollution. There are also other sources of nitrogen dioxide apart from road traffic, though that is the biggest contributing factor.
Lower than expected readings might be due to proximity to parks or wide-open spaces. Trees planted along roads can also help disperse air pollution.
COPI says it will contact every estate agent in London this week to encourage them to adopt the new system as they believe a strong legal argument exists to say this information must be disclosed to prospective home buyers.