A study in King’s College London has researched and measured nitrogen dioxide levels in different areas of London with the view to cover more of the UK over time. The World Health Organisation’s annual limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre of nitrogen dioxide was used as a comparison. You can check your postcode here, a website created by the Central Office of Public Interest (COPI) to make this data easily accessible to the public.
Imperial College London and the University of Leicester carried out similar research on green spaces in London. They found that more than 25% of London’s parks, playgrounds and open spaces exceed international air pollution safety limits. Nitrogen dioxide mainly comes from vehicle fumes, and is known to be linked to early deaths. Therefore it can come across as shocking news that some of the play parks in London have highly polluted air which the children are breathing in. Check out their online map here.
How are house prices affected by air pollution?
Estate agents have been encouraged to provide air pollution figures in property listings so that they are widely available to any interested buyers.
The founder of the COPI has said that he thinks the new disclosed information may have an impact on locations of new built homes, and should be used to help decide where schools and homes for the elderly are built. With this data, they can avoid the worst polluted areas for the most vulnerable people. It’s important to remember that air pollution is everywhere, not just on the road. It permeates our homes and work places.
It’s expected that agencies may not wish to disclose the air pollution data as it’s another piece of information to add to an already long list of musts in property listings. The number of homes on the open market has seen the biggest fall in ten years, so adding this potentially off putting information will likely be detrimental for agencies’ revenues. Some buyers will, however, ignore the air pollution data for the homes like they may ignore the energy efficiency certificate (EPC).
Those who are concerned about air quality will likely completely avoid properties with high NO2 levels, rather than try and negotiate the price lower. Therefore it’s an informative rather than negotiating tool.
What about electric vehicles?
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, with the plan for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. It’s also expected that by 2012, the number of electric car models available will triple. You’ve likely noticed that more and more vehicle manufacturers are bringing out electric vehicle alternatives to current models, or entirely new models which are electric only.
As well as there being more electric vehicles on the roads, there are also more and more charge points becoming available. One of the reasons people may be hesitant in purchasing an electric vehicle is the fear that it could run out of juice if they can’t find a charge point in time, or that they need charging too often.
The batteries in electric vehicles are improving, needing fewer charges and charging up faster.
Are you concerned about the air quality around your home? Let us know in the comments below.
I began writing for Property Press Online in October 2019. Particular areas of interest are housing market news and new developments in the market.