Property ads may need to include air pollution warnings

"Toxic air" in city centres could affect property values (and health)

Information about local air quality should be included on all property listings, says the boss of the National Association of Estate Agents.

“I think anything that would affect someone’s decision whether to buy or not should be there to be seen by the public,” Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of the NAEA/Propertymark, told BBC Radio London. “What we are saying is it will now factor into somebody’s wish list in terms of what and where they want to buy.”

Air pollution has been linked to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health, while the Mayor of London’s office attributes 9,000 deaths in the capital each year to poor air quality.

Warnings about polluted air might affect property values, and areas like Prime Central London are likely to have the worst ratings.

Environmental organisations have been haranguing policy-makers about the dangers of poisonous air for years, with ClientEarth recently winning major victories. As a result, Mayor Khan is already on the case in London, describing declining air quality as an “emergency” after the capital breached its annual air pollution limit within just five days this year, pitching “toxic air audits” for areas around some primary schools, and proposing that the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) be introduced in April 2019, a year earlier than planned.