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By Ross Allan

Director of Property Data Solutions, Hometrack


How agents can use comparable data to price properties with accuracy

As mortgage rates remain high, estate agents report that housing market conditions continue to be demanding.

A 0.1% fall in the average house price was recorded by the latest Hometrack House Price Index. However, price falls vary depending on the property type and location. For example, the falls in average house prices range from -1.6% in the East of England to +3.3% in Northern Ireland.

But there is some optimism.


The Hometrack HPI has recorded a strong seasonal uplift in supply, which is now 20% higher than this time last year. Winning new instructions and selling or letting homes as quickly as possible is always important but in a market with more choice for buyers and house prices declining depending on type and region, it’s crucial.

By using recent comparable house prices or rental comparables to accurately value a property, agents can ensure their customers receive the best price for their home and the quickest sale possible in the prevailing market conditions.

Market analysis from Hometrack’s latest House Price Index found that in the main it remains a buyers’ market.

Buyers are not willing to compromise on the type of home they want to purchase in the face of higher borrowing costs. Instead, they’re prepared to sit tight and wait for house prices to fall further, mortgage rates to come down or both. Meanwhile, the rented sector remains stuck in a period of low supply and high demand pushing up annual rental inflation by 6.6% per cent for new lets.

Against this backdrop of challenging market conditions, arriving at an accurate valuation is no easy task particularly when buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords have different expectations around the price they can secure. Sellers may be reluctant to let go of some of the equity that’s built up rapidly over the last two years. Buyers, constrained by tighter mortgage affordability and more choice in the market, are intent on driving a hard bargain.

Somehow the two must meet.

Using up-to-the-minute comparables can help agents bring both parties together.

Estate and letting agents need additional property data at their fingertips which they can use to assure the seller or landlord they are suggesting a justified valuation, fitting for the current market. Likewise, buyer and tenant expectations can be kept in check by signposting the values of comparable house sales or let homes.

Data sets, which can be based on either home or rental comparables and are delivered through an API, are made up of more than 200 million data points.

Agents can search by property type such as mid or end-terraced home or a purpose-built or converted flat. Attributes such as a property’s new-build status, floor area per square foot and the date and type of the latest valuation carried out can be filtered in seconds.

Armed with the most current and appropriate comparables, agents can assure their clients they’re selling for the best price.


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