The Sunday Times Home section of 14th October had a feature on thatched properties, with the main thrust of the piece being that Thatched properties were becoming harder to sell because prospective buyers were put off by the high maintenance and insurance costs and consequently sale prices were being reduced.
The article however did not put thatched properties into the wider context of the current UK housing market.
House prices generally have not gone up at the rate they did prior to 2008 and thatched properties are just part of this trend. Buyers and developers who were once almost assured of making large profits by renovating and selling on thatched properties are finding it harder to do so. Also there are now very few derelict or run down thatched properties to be renovated and the heyday of barn conversions and other such buildings seems to have passed.
I cannot really comment on insurance costs and trends but thatching prices have actually barely risen in the last 6 – 7 years and in fact the costs quoted in an article on the internet from 2003 and the prices mentioned on a couple of current websites are identical. When you consider that most thatchers earn an average UK salary or less and their own costs continue to go up relative to what they charge there is little that the thatcher alone can do to make thatching more attractive to the consumer.
For information about the lifespan of thatched properties please visit my blog Dec 13th 2010 and April 2nd 2011.
For information about insuring thatched properties please visit the contents section of my homepage and also my blog of October 14th 2012.