ULEZ expansion: Experts unveil how new charges will affect property prices across London

Sadiq Khan talks on the expansion of the ULEZ

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The extensive ULEZ zone will see new emissions standards penalise heavily polluting vehicles driving across London. With residents liable to pay the daily charge when driving in the area, the cost of living in the capital is increasing – but how will the new charges impact house prices across the region? Express.co.uk spoke to property experts Simon Bath and Israel Moskovitz to find out.

How much does it cost to live in London?

The average cost of a UK home increased by £25,000 in the 12 months leading to August 2021, with a rise in property prices recorded across all regions.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) House Price Index (HPI), prices in London hit a new high of £526,000.

Despite the capital recording the lowest level of growth among the regions for the ninth consecutive month, London property prices continue to rise with the housing market showing no signs of slowing down.

With the demand for property still outweighing the supply, experts insist prices will not fall despite the increased cost of living in London.

How will the ULEZ expansion affect house prices?

While the cost of living within the low-emission zone will increase for non-ULEZ compliant vehicle owners, property experts believe the expansion of the clean air zone will see an increase in the demand for homes in the capital.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, property expert and founder of Avon Group, Israel Moskovitz said: “Properties in less-congested areas that offer higher air quality will become appealing to house-hunters, especially as 92 percent of homebuyers in the UK have said that a sustainable community is important when determining where to live.

“As a result, we are expecting to see buyer demand increase for properties within these boroughs.”

Paying the price for clean air

With pollution being one of the biggest driving forces for Londoner’s to move out of the city, the clean air zone could see an increase in demand for property in central parts of London.

Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global and creator of Moveable told Express.co.uk: “Neighbourhoods and the surrounding areas have always been a key aspect in home-buying, and with the ULEZ expansion now in effect, places new to the zone such as Ealing, Brent and Wandsworth could generate greater interest from the perspective of a home-buyer.

“With cleaner air and less pollution, house prices could potentially increase in these areas as demand for a London property, without the drawbacks, recovers post-pandemic.”

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What happened to property prices when the first congestion zone was introduced?

The extensive zone is 18 times larger than the initial congestion charge zone which came into force on February 17, 2003.

When the original congestion zone was introduced more than 18 years ago, property experts predicted a drop in house prices for properties located on the perimeter of the zone.

According to The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), those living on the border of London’s central congestion charge zone would see their homes drop in value because of an increase in traffic around the zone trying to avoid the £5 daily charge.

With the new ULEZ charges standing at a daily rate of £12.50, the same effect could be had on residents living in parts of the city that are not entirely in the zone.

Despite fears of increased traffic on the borders of the extensive low emissions zone, changing attitudes towards the environment are thought to outweigh the risk of built-up congestion outside of the ULEZ region.

Simon added: “We have seen that outside space and greenery is more important than ever for homebuyers, who are now far more aware of the impact that features outside their homes have on their lives.

“With the COP26 summit on the horizon, it is clear that environmental concerns are higher on the agenda than ever before, and will now be factored into purchasing decisions going forward.”

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