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The property turn-off that could see your home’s value sink

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Wiping thousands of pounds from property values and deterring millions of potential buyers, this feature is particularly disliked by Londoners
The property turn-off that could see your home’s value sink

A downstairs bathroom could wash your property’s value down the drain, according to Direct Line Home Insurance.

It said that estate agents estimate that a downstairs family bathroom wipes £13,500 (6%) off the value of the average property, and in London this could knock up to £27,000 off a home’s value, compared to properties with an upstairs family bathroom.

The research revealed that Brits would much rather their bathroom was upstairs, with 44% of UK adults saying that a downstairs bathroom would put them off buying a property. This could be the equivalent of 23 million people across the UK.

In fact, downstairs bathrooms could have directly contributed to the loss of millions of property sales, with 7.4 million people deciding against buying a property in the past because the bathroom was located downstairs.

Changing rooms

The lack of desirability of downstairs bathrooms may also be contributing to the increase in homeowners choosing to move them upstairs, with 45% of estate agents reporting there are fewer properties with downstairs bathrooms listed now compared to five years ago.

A quarter of agents are advising homeowners that if a property has a downstairs bathroom they should consider relocating this upstairs prior to listing.

Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line, said: “Downstairs bathrooms are usually found in older properties accessed through the kitchen and despite them featuring in thousands of homes across the UK, they divide opinion. With some home buyers actively avoiding properties like this and others finding them much more convenient, especially if they are less mobile or have young children.

“Homeowners who are planning home renovations should let their insurer know about any changes being made to their house, as any work that involves walls being knocked down, floors being taken up, plumbing or electrical work, can result in damage to the property. Having builders and other trades coming and going with spare keys also increases the security risk.”

On a regional basis, Londoners are most likely to be put off by a downstairs bathroom, with over half (57% – nearly 4 million people) of those in the capital saying it would deter them from buying a property.

However, people living in Scotland are least fussed about the location of a family bathroom, with it only discouraging 28% of purchasers.

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