Research from estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that while the government may have made nuclear energy a focus of last week’s spring statement, areas due to host a nuclear power station could see the local property market go into meltdown, knocking almost a fifth off of property values.
Barrows and Forrester analysed house prices in areas currently home to a full operational nuclear power station, how these areas compared to property values across the wider local authority and what it could mean for the locations that have been earmarked as the next nuclear power station sites.
The research shows that there are currently six operational nuclear power stations across the UK, located in Folkestone and Hythe, Hartlepool, Lancaster, East Suffolk and East Lothian. On average, house prices in postcodes home to these nuclear power stations average £212,405, -19.3% or £50,902 less than the average of £263,308 across the wider local authorities in which they are situated.
In the IP16 postcode, home to East Suffolk’s Sizewell B power station, house prices average just £238,975 versus £322,095 across the wider local authority of East Suffolk – a difference of -25.8 % or £83,120 .
In Lancaster’s LA3 postcode, home to both Heysham 1 & Heysham 2, house prices are -22.8% lower than the wider average across Lancaster .
Property values surrounding the Torness power station are -17.6 % lower than the wider area of East Lothian, with the Dungeness B (-14.6 %) and Hartlepool (-14.5 %) power stations also home to lower house prices than the surrounding area.
However, there are currently no less than five other areas of the UK earmarked for a nuclear power station, four currently under proposal – Oldbury, Bradwell B, Sizewell and Wylda Newydd – while Hinkley Point C has already begun construction.
Should house prices in these areas decline to the same degree, the average reduction of -19.3 % would wipe almost £65,000 off the current average house price of £334,864 in South Gloucestershire’s BS35 postcode.
In Maldon’s CM0 postcode they could see a decline of £64,128 , with the local property markets in Somerset West and Taunton, East Suffolk and Anglesey also seeing a reduction of between £33,000 to £53,000.
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester said, “In last week’s spring statement the government made it clear that nuclear energy would be a primary focus when it comes to powering the nation. While it may well be needed, further nuclear sites could come at the detriment to homeowners in the immediate vicinity, with property values surrounding current nuclear power stations commanding around a fifth less than the wider market.
This is no doubt down to the public’s perception that living close to a nuclear site is not only a potential eyesore, but also poses a potential risk.
Of course, today this risk is likely to be miniscule and so those who may be struggling with the high cost of homeownership may find that a nuclear house price discount is well worth it if it means they can climb the ladder.”
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