The Best Property Locations for Avoiding the Risk of Flooding

Flooding can bring devastation to affected homes and areas. Buying property in an area of high ground might be the answer.

The Environment Agency estimates that over five million homes in England are at a higher than average risk of flooding, with flooding now a more common occurrence than burglary. The Agency also says that intense bouts of flooding are set to become more frequent, so buying property in a flood zone might not be so much of a wise move.

Estate agency Springbok Properties looked at the affordability of some of England’s highest cities above sea level, to potentially take some of the stress out of buying a house in a flood zone. It’s a good idea to keep in mind the rate at which sea levels are rising, the rate at which global warming is taking effect, and the potential of certain rivers bursting when you buy a home and are looking for home insurance.

Buildings insurance and insurance cover, in general, can be expensive. Flood insurance costs when you live in a high-risk zone can be particularly difficult to cope with, and if you’re not prepared with flood defences, then you might be caught off guard. You might be more at risk if you live on the ground floor. If you reside in a flood risk property, it might be more difficult to acquire insurance that’s premium.

flooded street

England’s Highest and Most Affordable Cities

Springbok Properties measured the height in metres against the average property price, to come up with a cost per metre of elevation.

Topping the list was Stoke-on-Trent, at 276 metres above sea level, with an average price of just over £114,000. The property cost per metre of height comes in £414.

Second was Bradford, England’s highest city, at 324 metres. Average house prices there are £136,000, with the cost per metre of elevation £420.

Next in line were Sheffield (£531), Birmingham (£752), Sunderland (£844), Wolverhampton (£865), Leeds (£936), Plymouth (£1,066), Nottingham (£1,0840 and Coventry (£1,137).

Lower-lying St Albans came at the bottom of the list of affordability, with an elevation of 128 metres and average houses costing just over £499,000, giving a cost per metre of £3,900.

Inland Flood Risk

It should be noted that not all flooding comes from the coast however, with an estimated 50 percent as a result of ground water, sewers or flash flooding following torrential rain.

This means that even properties high above sea level can face a threat if their location is, for example, in a heavily paved zone, at the lower end of a rise or in a densely populated urban area.

Cities high above sea level can also face flooding from rivers. Bath is fifth on the list of highest English cities, at 230 metres above sea level, however over 5,000 properties there are considered at risk of flooding from the River Avon.

flood sandbags

What to Look Out for When Buying

If you are concerned that a property you are thinking of buying may be at risk of flooding, you should ask your solicitor to order a flood report. They will also make enquiries of the seller to find out any history of flooding.

If you are buying or selling a property, talk to one of our expert lawyers on 0345 2413100 or email us at

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