Fracking could cut value of Manchester homes by thousands, warn experts

Potential fracking sites in Greater Manchester are likely to wipe tens of thousands of pounds off the value of nearby properties and make homes harder to sell, according to new research.

A survey of 60 estate agents conducted by leading marketing research agency Redshift and commissioned by Greenpeace UK revealed that two thirds (67%) believed fracking operations could bring down house prices.

The majority estimated the loss in value to be more than 8-11%, with two agents even putting it as high as 41-70%.  

The respondents were evenly distributed across three key areas where energy firms are planning to carry out fracking: West Sussex, Manchester, and Lancashire.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said: “It’s worrying that homeowners who happen to live in fracking zones are being kept in the dark on how fracking will affect them. 

“Some are already starting to bear the brunt through aborted sales and their homes being devalued.

“The Government needs to lead an honest and open debate on fracking and its impact on the local community.

“Our homes are our most valuable asset and ministers shouldn’t be allowed to ride roughshod over people without any discussion or consultation  and only a whiff of compensation.

With the price of the average house in the UK estimated at £272,000, even just a 10% drop in value could translate into a loss of tens of thousands of pounds.

A majority of the estate agents surveyed (54%) also said they were concerned fracking could reduce property sales near potential fracking sites.

Most of those who said they’re concerned believed more than one in ten purchases could be affected, with nine dealers putting the estimate as high as 25-50% of all sales.

One in four respondents also said home buyers have expressed concerns about the prospect of fracking in the area, with four estate agents reporting some customers have pulled out as a result.

The government has previously stated there’s no evidence that fracking will affect house prices. Yet ministers has so far refused to publish in full a heavily redacted report believed to contain evidence of the shale industry’s impact on the housing market. 

The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to auction off licence blocks to fracking firms over an area covering more than half of Britain just after the general election .

Three quarters of the estate agents interviewed said fracking should not be permitted until more research is done.

All but two (97%) also said the government should publish the redacted report in full.

Image courtesy of TruthLoader, with thanks.

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