Having a downstairs bathroom knocks £13,000 off a house price with half of buyers saying it would ‘put them off’
- Downstairs bathrooms can wipe £13.5k off the value of an average property
- This amount increases double for properties listed in the capital
- Londoners are most likely to be deterred by a downstairs bathroom
- Househunters in Scotland are least likely to have an issue with one
Millions of homebuyers have shunned a property for sale because it doesn’t have an upstairs bathroom, new research reveals.
Lower demand translates into smaller asking prices for those properties with only a downstairs bathroom, typically being six per cent cheaper – the equivalent of £13,580.
This potential loss due to not having an upstairs bathroom increases to £27,000 in London, according to the findings by Direct Line Home Insurance.
This three-bedroom terrace house in Northfields, Leicester, has a downstairs bathroom and is for sale for £158,000 via estate agents Seths
The family bathroom is downstairs at the rear of the Leicester property
It comes with a white bath suite that includes a bath tub with a shower overhead
It claims millions have decided against buying a property in the past as the bathroom was located downstairs.
However, having a bathroom downstairs can be appealing to a slither of buyers, especially if they are elderly and need to avoid challenging stairs to reach one upstairs.
It can also result in a potential bargain for buyers who may then choose to move the bathroom upstairs with the savings they could potentially make on the purchase price.
This modern three-bedroom home in Worcester Park, Surrey, has an upstairs family bathroom
The Surrey property is on the market for £450,000 via estate agents Browns Residential
The Surrey property has a family bathroom upstairs and an ensuite with the master bedroom
Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line, said: ‘Downstairs bathrooms are usually found in older properties accessed through the kitchen and despite them featuring in thousands of homes across the UK, they divide opinion.
‘With some home buyers actively avoiding properties like this and others finding them much more convenient, especially if they are less mobile or have young children.’
|Region||Percentage put off by a downstairs bathroom||Estimated number of adults put off by a downstairs bathroom|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||44%||1,867,000|
|East of England||37%||1,790,00|
|Source: Direct Line Home Insurance|
The research claims a quarter of estate agents advise homeowners that if a property has a downstairs bathroom, they should consider relocating this upstairs before they put it on the market.
However, this can cost thousands of pounds, especially if the switch is not straight-forward and involves expensive building works.
Mr Simson added: ‘Homeowners who are planning home renovations should let their insurer know about any changes being made to their house, as any work that involves walls being knocked down, floors being taken up, plumbing or electrical work, can result in damage to the property.
‘Having builders and other trades coming and going with spare keys also increases the security risk.
‘Once the building work has been completed, householders should inform their insurer of any changes that have been made to their property, as adding bedrooms or bathrooms can not only add value to their home, but also change their home insurance requirements.’
This three-bedroom terrace house in Geoffrey Road, Birmingham, has a downstairs bathroom
This Birmingham property is listed for sale via estate agents Purplebricks for £150,000
The family bathroom is downstairs in the Birmingham property
Direct Line Home Insurance claimed that the lack of desirability of downstairs bathrooms and the apparent negative impact on property prices may also be contributing to the increase in homeowners choosing to move them upstairs.
It said 45 per cent of estate agents reported that there are fewer properties with downstairs bathrooms listed now compared to five years ago.
The also research found that Londoners are most likely to be put off by a bathroom that is downstairs, with 57 per cent of those in the capital saying it would deter them from buying a property.
At the same time, people living in Scotland are the least concerned about the location of a family bathroom, with it only discouraging 28 per cent of purchases.
TIPS FOR MOVING A BATHROOM
- Before work starts, householders should inform their insurer the work is taking place, so they can review the policy and make sure the work doesn’t invalidate their cover. They will also need to be informed:
- If the builder will have keys to the property
- If the property is being left unoccupied
- If there will be scaffolding up on the property
- If the security of the property will be compromised at any time during the work e.g. replacing doors and windows
- Check they have accidental damage cover on their home insurance
- Ensure the builder is qualified and registered with a recognised governing body
- Ensure they have a Standard Buildings Contract in place with their builder
- Make sure the builder has public liability insurance, employers liability insurance and contractors all-risk cover
- Ensure they have the correct permissions from their local Building Control Officer before starting work, to ensure the renovations meet building and fire regulations
- Householders should also notify their neighbours of any renovation work, not only to let them know to expect a little more noise than usual, but also in case there are any party walls affected by the work