Property is a huge investment, and so we’re all understandably keen to make sure we make the right choice. Mistakes can be costly, and even small factors that affect property prices are worth keeping track of. So, with this in mind, how much do crime rates actually affect property prices? In short, the answer is “a lot”.
Let’s take a look at why crime rates affect property value so significantly in the points below.
- It’s a European-wide issue
There’s no doubt that crime rates have taken a toll across the European property market. For example, in Stockholm, it’s been discovered that a house just a kilometre further from its local crime hotspot increases that home’s value by over SEK 30,000 – or around €2,830. These figures highlight the essential importance of checking out areas with higher levels of crime before making a move. Which leads onto our next point…
- Do your research!
In 2018, a northern English newspaper, the Yorkshire Evening Post, reported on the correlation between housing prices and the fluctuation in crime rates across the UK. Their findings were striking, and highlighted the importance of location in terms of crime’s effect on property prices. Take, for example, a town in Cumbria, North England, called Eden, which “… saw the strongest correlation, with a 5.93 per cent fall in crime coinciding with a 10.28 per cent increase in house prices.”
While stats change year-on-year, it’s always worth making note of any areas within your chosen country with particularly surprising statistics. It’s essential to keep in mind, too, that no matter where you move, nothing is certain – and nowhere is totally devoid of crime.
- The stats don’t lie
As we’ve already detailed, statistics are a huge factor in identifying the link between property prices and crime rates. Further figures from Churchill show that property sales worth the equivalent of £6.6 billion fall through every year due to fears over local crime – and this is just in the UK! We don’t need to discuss how big a figure that is if you apply it to countries across Europe and even the globe.
- Wherever you live, make sure your investment is secure
Irrespective of where you’re thinking of buying a house, it’s important that you consider security as your top priority. Issues such as burglary and local drug use are at the forefront of buyers’ minds, and with good reason – you want a neighborhood and environment that you and your family feel safe in.
Thankfully, home insurance companies are hyper-aware of the risks that current and potential homeowners are concerned about. With the prevalence of crime ongoing, it’s more important than ever that you get your home insured with a company that not only cares about your property value, but your property’s value to you.
- Address your concerns with your estate agent and insurer
It’s clear that property prices and crime rates do indeed have a direct correlation. Sometimes, it’s better to be as vocal as possible about an issue, and when looking at property or insuring your current home, that’s the time in which you should be speaking out about it. Estate agents can help you find a “safer” area, if necessary, while insurers are well aware of the top crime concerns for homeowners.
So what can you do going forward? Even if crime is definitely a factor in housing market fluctuation, there’s no need to panic. Stay secure, do your research and know that this is a concern for homeowners and buyers everywhere.