Possible 20% house price reductions due to air pollution

Hyde Park London Anish Kapoor mirror sculptureThe not-for-profit organisation, Central Office of Public Interest (COPI), raises national awareness on air pollution. It began its latest campaign, addresspollution.org, in May this year with warnings that air pollution shortens our lives and costs the NHS over £20 billion a year in related health problems.

The organisation says its independent research showed that 45% of London property buyers thought a reduction of 20% in the price of a home in high pollution areas was reasonable. The survey also found that 76% thought both buyers and sellers should receive a discount if the property was in an area with illegally high pollution levels.

The new website addresspollution.org uses data from King’s College, London, to report the level of toxic nitrogen dioxide gas released when fuels, in particular from cars, are burnt. The website has not yet fully launched but can be viewed here. The website will show streets in London, some in the most expensive areas, with air pollution well above the legal limit which is currently 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air.

London’s streets will be searchable by postcode and it is thought the data may later be extended to the rest of the country. Homes will be given air pollution ratings between one (low) and five (high). Category five will be awarded to areas above 50% the legal pollution limit.

One of the properties described by The Times newspaper was a three bedroom flat in Bayswater Road, London, that overlooks Hyde Park. The property is valued at £1.7 million but scores a category four on the pollution scale.

COPI has funded billboards in some of the more highly polluted parts of London with graphic slogans including ‘Location, location, lung disease’ and ‘These houses cost an arm, a leg and a lung’. Air pollution is linked to health problems including lung cancer, low birthweights and premature birth, and asthma.

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