A third of Brits would buy a knotwood property

A third of Brits have revealed that would buy a property with Japanese knotweed, but at a reduced price.

By Nik Farah
Thursday, 09 May, 2019, 12:13
A third of Brits would buy a property with Japanese knotweed, but at a reduced price

32 per cent of people surveyed said they would still buy an affected property, but would expect to pay a reduced price of around six to ten per cent.

As awareness grows of the UK’s most invasive plant, and the treatments and guarantees available to deal with it, new research from YouGov, commissioned by Environet UK, has revealed that homebuyers have greater peace of mind that it’s a problem that can be solved. As long as there is a professional treatment plan in place with an insurance-backed guarantee, they may not need to walk away from their dream home.

While 50 per cent said they would still walk away, this is a significant drop from two years ago when 78 per cent said knotweed would scupper the purchase for them.

In Environet’s experience, a 10 per cent reduction in the purchase price is typical in cases where property has been affected by Japanese knotweed, dropping to around two to five per cent if it has been professionally treated.

Japanese knotweed can now be completely removed within a matter of days, at any time of the year, using a digging out method that sifts the earth to remove all viable rhizome roots from the infected soil. Once the problem has been tackled in this way or using a longer-term herbicide treatment and an insurance backed guarantee has been secured, almost all mortgage lenders will lend against the property and sales can proceed unhindered.

Nic Seal, founder and MD of Environet said: “With an estimated 5 per cent of all UK properties now affected by Japanese knotweed, either directly or indirectly, it’s encouraging to see homebuyers becoming increasingly rational in their approach. If left untreated, Japanese knotweed can cause considerable damage to a property which is why buyers and lenders are right to insist that there is a professional treatment plan in place before they agree to proceed.

“Due to the stigma around Japanese knotweed the property value will almost certainly be impacted, but all that’s required is a sensible renegotiation of the price. People are realising it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.”

Chartered surveyor Paul Raine, director of Expert Surveyors Ltd, added: “The key to selling a property affected by knotweed is a Japanese Knotweed Management Plan from a reputable specialist. Always be honest if the property you’re selling is or has been affected.”