Deep dive into figures finds level of property sold in flood zones

So far this year, £2.2bn worth of residential and commercial property has been sold within flood zones across England, according to Searchland analysis.

The research also revealed that almost half (49%) of the property is located in areas with the highest probability of flooding.

Searchland looked at the total value of residential and commercial property sold across both FZ2 and FZ3 flood zones, with FZ2 zones classified as having a medium probability of flooding, and FZ3 zones classified as having a high probability or defined as functional floodplains, with both posing a danger of either river or sea flooding. 

The research found that the total value of property sold with flood zones across England had been on the decline. In 2018 flood zone property sales totalled £63bn across England, falling 6.5% in 2019 and a further 1.3% in 2020 to a total of £58.1bn in value. 

The pandemic boom resulted in a sharp increase in the total value of flood zone properties sold, as residential buyers, in particular, scrambled to purchase homes in hot market conditions where demand far outweighed available stock. 

As a result, the total value of floodplain property sales soared to £72.2bn, a year-on-year increase of 24.3%. Some £37.5bn worth of this property was located across FZ2 flood zones. However, a notable £34.7bn was sold across FZ3 areas posing the greatest threat of flooding. 

The total value of flood zone property sales did reduce in 2022, though, falling by 30.3% year on year to £50.3bn and sitting some 20% below the total seen in 2018. 

A further reduction could be on the cards in 2023, with cooler market conditions seeing the total value of property sold across flood zones during the first two months of this year totalling £2.2bn.

Mitchell Fasanya, co-founder and CEO of Searchland, commented: “Despite this reduction, over £50bn worth of property was sold across flood zones last year, with around half of that located in areas with the highest threat. 

“This demonstrates the desperation that many face when it comes to climbing the ladder or when purchasing a commercial plot, with insufficient stock levels leaving them with little choice but to buy within a flood zone.”


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One Comment

  1. Dan Hamilton-Charlton

    It wouldn’t surprise me to know that a fair percentage of purchasers would not be aware of the level of risk being taken given that still far too many take a passive stance when it comes to their searches, which include environmental reporting.

    All too often the results are hidden until far into the transaction making the decision to pull out far harder when they are so financially committed.

    Given that an environmental report can be returned within 20mins decisions can and should be made far sooner.


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