A downstairs family bathroom could take up to £13,500 of the value of the average UK property, estate agents have suggested.
According to research, having the main bathroom downstairs would be enough to deter some 23 million people from buying the property.
A regional breakdown of the data provided by Direct Line Home Insurance shows that Londoners are most likely to be put off, meaning it’s likely to strip around £27,000 of a property in the capital, while people in Scotland less likely to take issue with it.
Overall, Brits prefer the main bathroom to be located upstairs, as is the norm, with 44% declaring that if the bathroom was downstairs, they would not consider buying. Additionally, downstairs bathrooms are being blamed for the loss of millions of potential property sales, with an estimated 7.4 million people looking elsewhere in the past, once discovering that the main bathroom was located in an undesirable place.
Consequently, the number of downstairs bathrooms seen in properties is falling, with 45% of estate agents reporting that they are less common than they were five years ago, and this can be attributed to the negative impact that this has on property prices, with some opting to relocate it.
Indeed, 25% of estate agents have advised homeowners to relocate the bathroom before putting their property on the market. However, this is not always a cost effective option.
Instead, it is argued by some estate agents that homeowners with a downstairs bathroom could offset its negative impact by making improvements elsewhere, such as redecorating or adding an extra bedroom.
Regardless of its location, the quality of a home’s bathroom has been shown to be of high importance when trying to attract potential buyers, with the majority of estate agents admitting that it is one of the top things that buyers look for.
‘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,’ said Dan Simson, head of home insurance at Direct Line.
‘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,’ he pointed out.
‘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,’ he added.