House Property Prices - How to check out the Local Property Market

publication date: Aug 5, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

House Property Prices - How to check out the Local Property Market

With so many new websites and property price reports claiming to give buyers, sellers and investors information about property values, it can be a real minefield working out which ones are worth using and most importantly, give you an accurate guide to what price you should accept or offer on a property.

Kate Faulkner, one of the UK’s top property experts has spent the last 10 years searching and analysing the best tools for buyers and sellers to use, here is what Kate uses to find out what’s happening to the local property market.

Know your Market

Ignore national headlines on what’s happening to property prices, it is only what’s happening in your local area to properties that you are thinking of buying or selling explains Kate. The best information on what’s happening locally comes from two sources:-

Hometrack - Kate’s score: 8/10
This site gives an indication of how long properties take to sell, how many viewings properties need before they sell and what buyers offer versus the asking price. It isn’t always 100% accurate, but what it does do is give you data that you can then test when talking to local agents, who, to be honest, are the best source of information – as long as you ask the right questions! (Read What to ask the Agents to better understand your local property market)

As a guide:-

 Slow MarketOK Market Busy Market
Offer versus Asking Prices 93% or less 94-96%97% or more
Average number of viewings to secure an offerLow numbers mean few buyers when combined with 93% or less offer to asking prices. Sometimes there are lots of viewers 'looking' but few making offers8-12 viewingsLow or high numbers when combined with a 97%+ offer to asking price
Number of weeks to sell a property8 or more weeks6 to 8 weeksLess than 6 weeks

So if the Hometrack figures say offer to asking prices are at 88% of a property’s value (ie offer £88,000 versus £100,000 asking price) with either 5 or 20 viewings to secure an offer over a 15 week period, you know the market is quite slow, so it’s possible to take your time and ideally bag a bargain.

If the Hometrack figures say offer to asking prices are at 98% of a property’s value with 15 viewings and 6 weeks to sell, you know the market is fairly fast moving and you need to secure your finance before you make any offers and you may not be as likely to get a good deal as in a slow market.

Get a helping hand with our new Sellers Service for just £19.99!

Property expert, Kate Faulkner, has joined forces with B&Q and other industry experts to offer a unique service, where you purchase a ‘property project pack’ that gives you:-
  • An A4 ‘how to’ guide (approx 80 pages), containing Dos and Don’ts, Factsheets, Checklists, Handy Tips and Forms
  • Access to Kate and her team, by phone and email, for any queries you might have during your project.

See the full list of Kate Faulkner's unique Property Services here!

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