COP26: how climate change is affecting the property sector

In the aftermath of COP26, experts at Groundsure are calling for better climate change due diligence in property transactions to minimise environmental risk and reach sustainability targets.

With the average UK household emitting 2.7 tonnes of CO2 every year[1], the UK government has committed to all new homes being highly energy efficient. By 2025, all new homes will produce 80% less carbon than they do currently[2] and use naturally grown materials; but there are many other environmental hazards caused by the changing climate that property owners and lenders need to be alerted to.

One of the biggest challenges the UK is facing is the rising sea levels, with coastal flooding one of the highest priority risks on the United Kingdom’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies[3]. Extreme rainfall can create surface, river and groundwater flooding, while storm surges and sea level rise continue to impact and flood coastal communities. As such, it is important to receive accurate land data during a property transaction, that recognises the threat of climate change and gives confidence to the buyer.

Additionally, as the climate warms, so does the threat of a ground collapse due to higher rainfall. Sinkholes from former mine workings are becoming more common, putting property values at risk. Groundsure’s recent research identifies up to 8 million properties in England and Wales that could be at risk of subsidence, which could negatively impact future mortgage availability.

Malcolm Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Groundsure, said:

“Climate change is one of the greatest threats to future residential and commercial property asset values and buyers and sellers need to be aware of the risks.

“At Groundsure, we look forward to a future where adaption to episodes of extreme rainfall and drought is the positive response to climate change, and transactions can be made with confidence and clarity.”

Looking ahead, properties will be required to withstand future climate scenarios across a range of environmental threats. Groundsure are also calling for more action and greater social justice for those most at risk within these vulnerable areas.

Groundsure’s records collate 110 million data points to produce comprehensive data reports, which are included in Groundsure’s market leading Avista report. Groundsure encourages conveyancers and their clients to examine all types of environmental risk. For the conveyancer, they can be confident that Avista can address all the main risks in a cost-efficient way.

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This article was submitted to be published by Groundsure as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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