One in four homeowners is not sure if they are living on a flood plain. Over a quarter of homeowners (26%) have no idea whether their home rests on a flood plain, despite recent and devastating floods across the UK, according to new research.

And 88% of homeowners would not continue with the purchase of a property if they discovered this was the case beforehand, according to research from leading property data company OneSearch Direct.

The survey also points out an environmental search ? which would inform a buyer at an early stage of the homebuying process and allow him to receive a fair market price and check insurance cover ? is not a mandatory part of the Home Information Pack (HIP).

Contaminated land, which also would be revealed in an environmental search, would deter 86% of homebuyers, yet over a third (34%) of current owners could not be sure whether they resided on a contaminated brownfield site or not.

Other highlights from the research include 73% of homeowners declaring they would reconsider their purchase in light of impending traffic control or planning permission in the area, and 78% would look again if they discovered a mineshaft in close proximity to their preferred property.

‘With the Government planning to build three million new homes by 2020, many on flood plains in areas like the Thames Gateway, it seems absurd that this information is not made readily available in the HIP ? especially when these properties are not automatically covered by insurers,’ says Ronnie Park, managing director of OneSearch Direct (www.onesearchdirect.co.uk).