The influential lobbying group the HomeOwners’ Alliance wants estate agents to quote the price per square foot of properties to allow buyers to make more meaningful assessments of a property’s value.
In a blog on its website, the HOA says that British agents generally describe property sizes in terms of numbers of bedrooms, burying the number of square feet of space within the home in the small print of the details.
“Estate agents are usually uncharacteristically quiet about it. In many other countries, people talk mainly about the area of a property. Square footage tells us about the size of the house, but not about its value. To get an idea of the true value of a house we would have to start talking about the pounds per square foot. And that we never do” says the HOA.
The blog then quotes - and praises - an example by the agency YouHome, which the association says is one of the few to include price per square foot information on its details. The agency carries details of two nearby three-bedroom terraced houses in the Notting Hill area of London, one selling for £2.2m and one selling for £3.5m.
“You would assume that one must be much bigger than the other, but then look at the pounds per square foot – the Campden Hill Road one went for £2400/sqft, while the Kensington Place £1550/sqft. The places are almost exactly the same size, but one is going for more than 50% more per square foot than the other. If the buyers had that information, they could have made a more meaningful comparison than one based on the number of bedrooms,” says the HOA.