Britain's most polluted areas are the most expensive

Areas with the highest air pollution levels found to have the most expensive housing

(Image credit: Getty/Prisma by Dukas)

Rising air pollution levels in the UK's cities have concerned residents and policy makers for years; London in particular has been under the spotlight due to its poor air quality, with the recently launched Ultra Low Emissions Zone designed to tackle the problem. As of today, however, London's prime property hotspots remain some of the most polluted areas in the country. 

Using data from Breezeometer’s live Air Quality Map and the Land Registry, found that areas with excellent air quality rating of over 80 were home to an average house price of just £185,808. By contrast, London has the most negative correlation of property prices and air pollution with a quality air score of just 38 and an average house price of £472,230 making the capital home to a cost of £12,427 in property for every point scored on the quality air scale. Sevenoaks, St Albans, Elmbridge, Wokingham, Windsor, Epping Forest, Southend, Brighton and Waverly also make the top 10 for the UK’s worst homeowning options when considering air pollution.

If you are after affordable property in an area with pristine air, head to North Lanarkshire, Scotland. With an average house price of just £105,280 and a quality air score of 85, home buyers there are paying just £1,239 per quality air point in house prices. Ayrshire and Middlesbrough also scored highly on the clean air scale, while having very affordable property. 

Founder and CEO of, Paul Telford, commented:

'A correlation between high house prices and air pollution is to be expected as higher demand for housing pushes up property values while also bringing more people, cars and other polluting factors to an area.'

'While the delivery of new properties remains vastly inadequate, it’s vital that we consider all aspects, including air pollution, when planning and constructing homes and how this resulting increase in the local population can impact the wider environment. ' 

'It’s not just about delivering the homes needed but improving the wider area and local infrastructure, so it can better accommodate this influx without further compromising the quality of air. Of course, the great news is that for those who value the great outdoors and a cleaner environment, the cost of getting on the ladder in the UK’s best spots for air quality is much lower.'

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.