Estimated 0.5m properties sold in 2015 without flood risk search

DateJan 23, 2016
AuthorNic Newman

An estimated 0.5m properties transacted in 2015 without a flood risk search.

During 2015, approximately 456,000 property transactions in England and Wales did not factor flood risk into their purchase, according to calculations from location intelligence specialists Groundsure*.

Flood risk is a major issue in the UK, especially in recent months where vast areas of the country (particularly Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester) have experienced extensive and prolonged flooding, causing significant damage and misery to thousands of people.

A reported 16,000 properties were flooded in December 2015[1] with an estimated overall cost of between £5bn and £5.8bn. It is thought that up to 50% of insurance claims will be on commercial properties[2] and the devastation to local communities could take several months to clean up.

5.2m properties are at risk of flooding in England and Wales[3]. This equates to 1 in 6 homes with an average damage cost of £28,000 (more than triple the average cost of fire and burglary combined). In a poll in 2009 of almost 2,000 people, only 6% had taken flood protection measures on their properties.[4]

Dan Montagnani Managing Director of Groundsure said:
“We are seeing a trend over a 50 year period that suggests in the future, areas at risk are likely to see more flooding that they have done previously.”

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association added “In December 2014 The Law Society published its Practice Note on flood risk and we have seen a steady climb in the proportion of transactions seeking flood risk searches as a result. However, it is perhaps surprising that there are still some half a million transactions a year potentially not seeking this insight ahead of purchase”.

Groundsure provides location intelligence to conveyancers, lenders, surveyors, environmental consultants, architects and planners on flood risk and a wide range of other natural and man-made hazards.


*Groundsure research based on 2015 transaction data.