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Knowing your property's value can help you make better informed long-term decisions when moving home.
Foxtons offer two options to check your house value online:
Our free online house valuation checker is a fast, efficient way to get an estimated value for your home. Your online property estimate will be based off many different factors and adjusted daily based on recent property sales near your home. However, an online property valuation does not take into account the uniqueness of your property and will serve as a quick guide to the potential value of your home.
Booking a free, no-obligation home valuation appointment is the most accurate way to check your house value. Our expert Valuers have visited thousands of properties across London and Surrey, giving us an intimate understanding of property values in your local area.
An accurate house valuation requires an expert eye and many years of experience. Your property is essentially worth what a buyer will pay for it at a given time, and there are a large number of factors that can influence your property's value. While "How much is my house worth?" may be the most common question we get asked, "How do you value my house?" is often the next question on a homeowner's mind.
We talk with some of our most experienced sales and lettings valuers to find out exactly what they're looking at when conducting a property valuation:
Similar properties nearby that are for sale or have recently been sold are a good way of gauging a property's value. This gives a good guide to the kinds of prices that homes can command in that location. Similar apartments in the same block or building give a good indication of achievable prices, but there are many other factors listed below that could cause a property valuation to be higher or lower than other similar examples.
"I look at other similar properties that are currently on the market, and what the past year's sold prices are for properties around the one I am valuing," explains William Cooke, Sales Valuer at our Brixton office.
"With this, however, you do need to look a little deeper and ask what was/is the condition of those similar properties," he adds. "Are they modernised or do they need work doing to them? If so, how much work? Do they have outside space? If a property nearby seems cheap I'll find out why – whether it was a motivated seller, low lease, etc."
Properties that are well looked-after will obviously attract more interest from buyers and therefore command a higher price. From the essentials of basic structural integrity through to how modern the kitchen or bathroom are, condition will be a major factor that valuers consider when assessing a property's value.
A garden or balcony is an extremely sought-after feature for a property to include. A private outdoor space attached to the flat or house can significantly add to its value, while access to communal garden or terrace space will also positively affect the price a property will sell for.
"Outside space is always at a premium, especially where I work in Islington," explains Angela Clarke, Lettings Valuer in our Islington office. "In the summer months, or when the sun is shining, properties with outside space are definitely viewed as being more desirable and can achieve a premium rental.
"With people generally renting properties for longer, they do tend to place higher importance on making it their home," she adds. "Because of that we have seen an increased demand for outside space."
The amount of space – interior and exterior – that a property offers is an obvious factor that affects its value. How that space is laid out will also affect the price that it might sell for. Even within new build developments, it's rare for apartments to be identical in both size (usually measured in square feet) and layout, so a valuer will have to use their expertise to make a judgement on the value of each unique property.
Giles Sparkes, Sales Valuer in our busy Canary Wharf office, explains how a simple size/layout consideration is not sufficient for an accurate valuation:
"The cost per square foot can change dramatically for properties within a specific area like South Quay here in Canary Wharf, where we have brand new developments alongside older buildings. Sellers of slightly older blocks may not fully understand or appreciate the reasons why prices are different, so area knowledge and experience of selling similar properties are crucial."
In terms of layout, the ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms is also a determining factor for a property's value. For example, a two bedroom flat with two bathrooms will be worth more than a two bedroom flat with just one bathroom.
The location of a property has a significant impact on its value. When it comes to London property this effect may be heightened, as small geographical change can make a considerable difference to property prices as you move from one neighbourhood to another in the capital. An area may have a positive or negative reputation that either boosts or depletes the value of properties within its bounds.
The existing amenities in an area will contribute to, or detract from, its appeal. The availability or quality of schools, provision of transport links and the number of green spaces in the area are all examples of factors that affect the desirability, and therefore level of demand, of an area.
Lettings Valuer Archie Vey, based in our South Kensington office, explains some of the key factors that drive demand for rental properties in the area:
"Imperial College and the Royal College of Art are nearby, so there are lots of students searching for accommodation in South Kensington. Financial professionals from the City and Canary Wharf are also drawn to the area, along with young professional couples where one works east and the other works west!"
The specific location of a property within its neighbourhood can also affect value. Homes with a view of water or green spaces will command a premium, for example, while homes with south-facing gardens or lounges will receive plenty of sunlight and also enjoy a boost in value.
Many buyers ask about the potential to develop a property, as this gives scope for further investment in the future and the possibility of adapting it to future needs. If the seller has never applied for planning permission it's possible to gauge the likelihood of gaining it by finding out what other development projects have been granted in the same neighbourhood.
One area that only an agent with local knowledge will be able to judge is the level of demand at the time of the valuation. If an agent has a number of buyers looking for a particular type of property, they know that it will attract attention. They are also aware of the kinds of offers the prospective buyers may be willing to offer and what their timescales are for moving home.
This is especially important when conducting a lettings valuation. Angela Clarke explains why:
"My knowledge of the rental market and the history of the property and neighbouring properties is massively important part of being able to give an accurate and achievable rental valuation. I can advise on how current trends have previously impacted the property market and the major changes I've seen over the past 10 years."
Apartments on different floor levels within the same building can command surprisingly different property prices. Foxtons figures for lettings for Q1 2019 show that lower ground floor flats attract an 8.7% premium, and raised ground floor flats a 6.7% premium over the average price paid per square foot for flats in London.
Reasons for this include the fact that lower ground floor flats often benefit from access to rear gardens, while raised ground floor properties benefit from easier access than the higher floors. Both ground and lower ground properties also sometimes enjoy lower service charges if there is a lift in the building, as they do not require that service.
Although a canny buyer will be able to see past the interiors of a property, properties with neutral, modern décor will still prove to be more appealing to many buyers who don't want the hassle of redecorating once they've moved in.
Good quality, modern fixtures and fittings – especially in the kitchen and bathroom – can also add value to a property. Many buyers will be attracted by a property that is ready for them to move into without costly refurbishments.
"If the property needs a complete refurbishment, which could cost around £50,000, then you would need to factor this in when pricing," explains Florence Longhurst, Sales Valuer in our Croydon office. "However, if the property is uninhabitable then this may affect lending on the property, which will decrease the value as it will likely fall to a cash buyer."
Well-designed storage options are another important feature that can add value to a property. Buyers want to see that the living space they're buying won't be swamped with clutter due to a lack of storage. Built-in cupboards and wardrobes or clever use of nooks under stairs or alcoves for extra storage can give a property very practical appeal.
The energy efficiency level of a property will greatly affect a buyer's cost of living once they've moved in and can affect its value. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) must be gained for any property being sold or let in the UK, and this document shows the energy efficiency and carbon emissions ratings of that property on a scale of A to G.
Unusual features, interesting historical connections or other unique selling points can add to the value of a property, as they help it to stand out from the crowd. This might take the form of beamed ceilings, a feature staircase or a roof terrace, but homebuyers are almost always more interested in buying properties with character.
Understanding local market price fluctuations around London is a key part of accurately assessing a property's value. A good estate agent will be constantly watching prices for their area, building up a sense of the levels of supply and demand, seasonal price fluctuations, and wider factors such as political changes that could affect the value of property in their area.
Instructing Foxtons to sell or let your home is easy once you've checked how much your property is worth. With My Foxtons, your 24/7 digital assistant, you can sign your sales documents online and track viewing and offers with ease.