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House Purchasers Scared Off by Damp:

38 percent of potential house purchasers would withdraw their offer on a house if it suffered from damp – YouGov

– A poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of damp-proofing product specialists Safeguard Europe has found that 38 percent of people would withdraw an offer on a house that they were considering purchasing if it was discovered that it suffered from damp.

Even where potential house buyers were prepared to continue with the purchase, a substantial discount would be expected to compensate for the cost of repairing the damp problems. 48 percent of respondents said that they would expect a price reduction with 18 percent of them expecting a price reduction of 20 percent or more – equating to more than £42,000, based on the June 2016 UK average house price of £213,927.

In areas of the country where property prices are particularly high, the effect would be even more dramatic – for example a 20 percent price reduction would equate to almost £115,000 in inner London where the average house price is £574,915

According to Hudson Lambert, Managing Director of Safeguard Europe the key message that comes from the survey is “Fix damp before selling”.

We already knew that damp was a big turn-off for potential house purchasers. However we were still surprised at the degree to which it affected purchasing decisions.

The fact that so many people appear to be willing to walk away from a house purchase or expect a price reduction of tens of thousands of Pounds would indicate that people’s perception of the cost and difficulty of dealing with damp problems is overblown.

In reality, most damp problems are relatively straightforward to deal with. Product developments such as damp-proofing rods and damp-resistant plaster systems have made the treatment of common forms of dampness easier and more reliable than ever before. Even in extreme cases where dampness is widespread in a property, it is rare for treatment costs to run into the tens of thousands.

For this reason, it would seem that most sellers would be best advised to treat any dampness issues before placing their properties on the market as this will allow them to attract the most buyers and achieve the best price.

Hudson Lambert – Managing Director of Safeguard Europe

Other Findings

  • 87% of people would be put off making an offer on a property if it suffered from damp problems. This topped the list ahead of Small Room Sizes (65%).
  • 49% of people have experienced damp problems in a property that they have lived in.
  • The top 5 damp-related issues that would deter people from putting an offer on a property were Mould & moss growth (76%), Damp patches and salt marks on walls (73%), Warping of timber (68%), Crumbling plaster or render (67%), and possible negative health effects (66%).


YouGov Data

More than 1250 UK respondants took part in the poll which aimed to find out what people look for when buying a new home. Approximately 60% were homeowners and 40% non-homeowners. The full data from the poll can be downloaded below (YouGov – All). The data is also available filtered into homeowners and non-homeowners.

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