Japanese knotweed knocks £20bn off UK property values

An astounding £20 billion is said to have been knocked off the total value of the UK property market because of the pervasive presence of Japanese knotweed.

New research has revealed that many mortgage lenders refuse to lend to anyone looking to buy a property affected by the spread of the weed, an ornamental plant that was first brought to the UK in the mid-19th century and has been identified as a threat to property since the 1920s.

The weed can spread through tarmac, concrete, driveways and drains, posing a serious threat to a property’s stability.

Obliged to tell buyers

A survey carried out by YouGov and Environet UK, specialists in dealing with Japanese knotweed, has revealed that around 5 of homes across the country are affected by knotweed, either because it’s present in their own property or in a neighbour’s.

And the presence of knotweed will drop the value of a property by 10 percent, meaning a loss of £22,800 to homeowners, based on the average UK home price of £228,000.

Anyone selling a home that has Japanese knotweed is obliged to tell buyers the property is affected, even when the plant has been removed. For greater peace of mind, building surveys carried out by chartered surveyors who are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will also identify the weed’s presence, alerting potential buyers to any risks.

Surveyor Local works only with RICS chartered surveyors to ensure you get the crucial survey information you need on the property you want to buy.

Problem just keeps growing

Nic Seal, founder and manager of Environet, said: “Japanese knotweed is the problem that just keeps growing.

“For most people in the UK, their home is their biggest asset and often the ‘pot of gold’ they are relying on in retirement, but Japanese knotweed is having a serious impact on values by deterring buyers and making homes difficult to sell, even if the knotweed has been successfully treated.”

If you’re a buyer worried about the possible threat of Japanese knotweed to your new home, talk to Surveyor Local today about the building survey you need. We offer a quick turnaround on reports, carried out by experienced chartered surveyors with local knowledge.

Call now on 0800 038 6667. You can also compare surveys online to find out which one suits your requirements.

Post Author: Frances Traynor