Impact of Air Quality on Property Transactions

Air Quality impact on property transactions

Air quality is becoming just as much
of an issue for would-be home buyers as other environmental concerns, like flood risk and land contamination, when it comes to buying a home.

According to legal and property resources website,, local air quality is becoming just as much
of an issue for would-be home buyers as other environmental concerns, like flood risk and land contamination, when it comes to buying a home.

In an article headed ‘Air Quality, Covid-19 and Property Transactions’, poor air quality is acknowledged as one of the most significant environmental risks to human health and this
is starting to be reflected in UK property transactions. You can
read the article in full here.

As is well-documented on this site, air pollution and poor air quality can have a detrimental impact on health, contributing to the premature deaths of 40,000 people every year in the UK.
According to the World Health Organisation, or WHO, ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths every year through stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and acute and
chronic respiratory diseases. The figures for Ireland for 2019 suggest that air pollution contributed to the early deaths of 1,300 people. Right across Europe, air pollution levels have exceeded
so-called ‘safe’ or allowable levels on a regular basis over the past number of years and this has a particularly negative impact on people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Shockingly, the WHO estimated that 91 per cent of the world’s population lives in places where the local air quality levels exceed WHO limits and this pollution has been linked to emissions from motor
vehicles and industry.

The above article points out that the air quality issue – both indoor and outdoor – has been brought into sharp focus over the past 14 months as a direct result of the pandemic, given that
“respiratory vulnerability” has been a key driver of fatalities.

Of course, State and Local Governments all around the world have had a heightened focus on air quality for many years, long before the outbreak of Covid-19. Understanding the quality of the very
air that we breathe, sharing this undertaking with citizens and then taking steps to improve it has become an integral tool for cities as they help their respective nations to deliver on the United
Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. As previously shared here, the Sonitus Systems team has worked with Dublin City Council to monitor air quality locally and share the results with local
residents and visitors to the city – you can read more about this Smart City project here.

As people spend more time within their homes and localities, and indeed as they learn more about the importance of the quality of the air, both inside and outside of their homes, it was inevitable
that – where possible – choices would be made in favour of better air quality. The property article above noted a “clear trend [amongst homebuyers] to look out of city centres to suburban or rural
areas for more green space and room to work from home. In June and July last year, the number of buyer inquiries made to Rightmove from people living in 10 cities increased by 78% compared with the
same period last year. And there was a 126% increase in people considering properties in village locations, compared with a 68% rise in people searching for towns”. These figures are similar to those
reported in Ireland through the leading property portals here.

With air quality becoming just as important to potential property buyers as flooding or land contamination issues, many conveyancers and legal professionals are “choosing to highlight air quality
as a factor which could impact upon their client’s quiet enjoyment of the home”. Local air quality might also impact on the need for enhanced windows, insulation or filtration systems, which must be
factored into the overall costs. The key is to provide enough data for people to consider and to allow them to make an informed decision.

Sonitus Systems offers both the hardware and software for a range of environmental parameters on a continual basis, with real-time information available through our Sonitus Cloud dashboard.
For more details on our indoor and outdoor noise and air quality monitoring products and services, please contact the team at