Property Investment

Biggest Turnoffs that Could Knock up to £50,000 Off Your Property Value

New research has revealed the biggest homebuyer turnoffs that can knock up to £50k of your property’s value.

Potential pitfalls or problems with a home can dramatically impact its desirability and, ultimately, its value. There are a whole host of factors that can negatively impact a property price and homebuyers should be aware of them all or be prepared to bear the financial consequences.

Homebuying is a complex process that requires due diligence and thorough attention to detail. It is also likely to be the biggest financial commitment a person has made throughout their life. As such, buyers need to ensure they dot every i and cross every t when researching their property to avoid buying a dud.

Research from homebuying platform Yes Homebuyers has identified the biggest homebuyer turnoffs and calculated what impact each can have on the value of a property.

Their research identified 15 key issues that have the potential to negatively affect a property’s price reducing it by around £50,925, based on the current average cost of a UK home of £254,624. The biggest culprit in their list of 15 property turnoffs is subsidence; nothing is considered more of a deterrent to potential buyers, according to their research.


Subsidence is when the ground beneath a property gradually or suddenly starts to sink or settle affecting the foundations. Tell tail signs are cracks measuring over 3mm in the walls (interior or exterior) or ceilings with the crack wider at the top than the bottom, wallpaper crinkling and doors not closing because the frames have become misshapen. It’s estimated that subsidence can reduce the value of a home by an average of -20 per cent. For the average UK home, this -20 per cent loss equates to £51,000.

Japanese Knotweed

Second on the list is Japanese Knotweed, which, it is estimated, reduces the value of a home by -15 per cent – a drop of just over £38,000 for the average UK home. Although not dangerous to humans, this plant is considered a destructive plant because it can grow up to 10cm in a single day and overcome the native vegetation quickly. It can also cause severe damage to the structural integrity of a property and is extremely difficult to eradicate; thus once its presence has been discovered, the seller is obliged to report the plant’s presence on their Property Information Form when selling the property. They also have to ensure that the plant is kept away from neighbouring properties.

The biggest homebuyer turnoffs based on the average percentage each issue can reduce property values by

Potential property price impact based on each percentage applied to the current UK average house price of £254,624 – Gov.uk UK House Price Index (May 2021 – latest data available


Poor Upkeep and Overgrown Gardens

Perhaps surprisingly looking at all the other negative factors in the research that buyers can’t do anything about after purchase, the third biggest turnoff as far a price is concerned is a property that is suffering from poor upkeep, or the garden has been allowed to overgrow. It’s estimated these factors could reduce the value of a home by as much as 14 per cent on average, or £36,000, even though these issues can be overcome with an interior refurbishment or garden makeover.

Utilities, Flood Risk, Clutter and More…

The research found that the next biggest buyer turnoffs are new power lines, mobile phone towers, or wind turbines, especially if visible from the house. These unsightly utilities can lead to an average of 13 per cent, or £33,000, being wiped off the value of a home.

Both nuisance neighbours and flood risks or water damage were found to reduce a property’s value by 10 per cent, which equates to just under £25,500, while lack of convenient parking can reduce value by 7.1 per cent, or £18,000. Furthermore, an unlucky house number such as 13, can reduce the value of a home by 6 per cent – that’s approximately £15,000.

Further down the turn off lists, structural issues (-£13,500), local power stations (-£12,700), damage or odours left by pets in the home (-£10,200), cluttered rooms (-£10,200), damp and mould (-£2,500), asbestos (-£2,500), and woodworm (-£1,300) were also found to have a negative impact on the value of your home.

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “Many of these buyer turnoffs can be easily and cheaply fixed, a process which should be well worth the effort and money thanks to the value they will restore to your home. Some of them, however, can be very expensive indeed. Severe damp issues and subsidence, for example, could cost as much to rectify as the value they restore. Furthermore, they can take an awfully long time to fix.  

“In such instances, it might be worth considering selling your home at a reduced price rather than undertake the task yourself. Of course, you might struggle to find a buyer, as a result, but in most cases, a bonafide quick buy platform should take your property off your hands. Leaving you stress-free and able to focus on your onward purchase.”

Many of the factors mentioned in the research that negatively impact property prices can be found by ordering surveys, searches and by reading the property Information form. However, some issues, like asbestos and woodworm can be very hard to detect in regular surveys. So, if you suspect there may be an issue, it is good practice to order specialist surveys that are designed to uncover these issues before buying your property.


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Alex Wright, Editor