Burglary the biggest worry
A nationwide survey of estate agents has revealed that local crime rates are playing an important role in the purchasing decisions of UK house hunters – with an estimated 29,000 buyers pulling out of home purchases due to concerns over criminal activity in the area. And as the total number of crimes committed across the country has risen sharply in recent years, this is having a growing impact on the nation’s property market. Burglary and drug crime are of greatest concern to buyers, closely followed by the threat of assault and vandalism.
Top crime-related concerns for home buyers
|Crime||Proportion of prospective buyers who are concerned|
Impact on the UK property market
Rising crime rates clearly have a major impact on victims. Yet concern in some regions is so great that it’s now having a major impact on the entire UK housing market. Estate agents estimate that 2.4% of house sales fall through as a direct result of buyers’ worries around criminal activity in the area. And this equates to a total 29,082 scuppered home sales every year, with a total annual market value of £6.6 billion. Of course, the reality is that every home in the UK is at risk of burglary, so whatever the crime rates are like where you live, it makes sense to take steps to safeguard your home and possessions.
Top tips for protecting your property
Burglar alarm - if you don’t have a burglar alarm, consider having one installed. An audible-only system may be sufficient if you’re part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme and you know someone will respond to the alarm. But if you live in a remote area, a monitored system might be the best option.
Window locks - if you don’t have key-operated locks on your windows, it makes sense to fit extra deadlocks. That’s particularly important on ground floor windows or windows directly above a flat roof that offers intruders easy access.
Security cameras – thanks to wireless technology, home security cameras are now relatively easy to fit. The smartest ones will even send you an alert if they sense movement or a loud noise, then you can check the live video stream on your phone before calling the police.
Security lighting - although most break-ins occur during daylight hours, security lighting can still act as a powerful deterrent against night-time intruders, and motion-sensitive floodlights are a popular option. It’s also a good idea to illuminate likely points of entry, but make sure the powerful floodlights don’t cause a nuisance to your neighbours.