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HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. How accurate are Zoopla estimates?
Help for first time sellers
11 March 2020

How accurate are Zoopla estimates?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher
View over an orchard towards hills with a row of pastel painted houses

Table of contents

  1. 1. How does Zoopla estimate house prices?
  2. 2. How accurate are Zoopla estimates?
  3. 3. What are the problems with Zoopla valuations?
  4. 4. When is it worth using Zoopla’s online valuation tool?
  5. 5. Alternatives to getting a Zoopla house price estimate
  6. 6. How can I get a more accurate valuation?
  7. 7. FAQs

Zoopla’s free online valuation tool: ‘How much is my home worth?’ is the first port of call for many sellers trying to figure out the best asking price for their home. However, Zoopla has come under fire for being misleading about how accurate their valuation tool actually is.

When Zoopla updated the tool in January 2020 many people noticed their house price estimate dramatically reduced. One user found their property had reduced in price by 49% overnight.

Below we explore how Zoopla’s instant valuation tool works, and how accurate it really is.

How does Zoopla estimate house prices?

When figuring out what your house is worth, Zoopla’s estimate tool:

  1. Starts by taking stock of your property - how many bedrooms it has, how large it is, and its proximity to local amenities.
  2. Calculates the current value of your property by multiplying the price it was last sold for by the percentage change in value that similar local properties have undergone since then.
  3. Generates its estimate of how much it thinks your house is worth

Zoopla’s estimates aren’t able to take into account any major changes that you’ve made to the property since you bought it - like an extension. It’s also unable to consider the unique features of your property.

How often does Zoopla update house prices?

Zoopla updates their house prices once a month but not on a set day. Their residential data research company, Hometrack, utilises various sources including HM Land Registry, Royal Mail, Ordnance Survey and Registers of Scotland. Prices are updated in line with when these sources also refresh their recent sales data. Zoopla also allows you to track a property so you can see when the estimated price has been updated.

Why is my house price not on Zoopla?

Where Zoopla's Automated Valuation Model (AVM) doesn't have reliable or sufficient sold house price data on similar properties, these estimated valuations won't appear on Zoopla. As Zoopla receives more data, this can change over time. You can't send them updated data on your house to fix this because it isn't a manual process.

How accurate are Zoopla estimates?

The reliability of Zoopla’s valuation tool varies massively. The estimate is much more likely to be accurate if other properties in your area are similar to your home in terms of size, age, and condition. If you’re trying to value a more unusual property, you’ll find the estimated value is less accurate. Areas where properties are sold regularly see more reliable estimates because Zoopla’s record of house prices are more up to date.

We recommend that you avoid using Zoopla’s valuation tool to determine what your home is worth. It provides very generalised estimates and there are a number of conditions that the tool is completely unable to take into account.

The UK housing market operates under the misconception that there is a true value for every home. In fact, the true value of your home is what a buyer would be willing to pay for it at that moment, and whether a mortgage lender is willing to finance it. This is generally worked out by comparing your home with the other properties on the market: what they are charging and what additional features you offer.

This sort of nuance is very difficult to achieve in a generalised online valuation - but realistic with a valuation through a reliable estate agent.

What are the problems with Zoopla valuations?

  • It doesn't take into account what makes your property unique.
  • It doesn't take into account recent developments or changes to your home.
  • Its accuracy depends on the properties in your area being similar in size, age, and condition.
  • As an automated algorithm, it can’t pick up on all the variables and nuances that an agent or prospective buyers take into account.

When is it worth using Zoopla’s online valuation tool?

While online valuation tools offer a convenient way to estimate your home's value, it's essential to approach their results with caution. These tools provide a ballpark figure, a general indication rather than an exact value. For more reliable house price estimates, it's advisable to rely on assessments from trustworthy estate agents who've personally visited and evaluated the properties in question.

Alternatives to getting a Zoopla house price estimate

If you're looking for an alternative to a Zoopla valuation, there are plenty of other instant valuation tools online, all of which vary in accuracy. GetAgent offers its own Online Valuation Tool, which takes account of all the things that make your property a home.

How can I get a more accurate valuation?

The best way to find out your property's market value is to talk to local estate agents with a track record of accurate valuations.

They will be able to use their knowledge of the local market to position your property against those currently for sale, and those recently sold. The best local agents know about the unique features of other properties on sale nearby, and what your home offers that differentiates it from these properties. This helps them to accurately estimate the value of your property.

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If you're not ready to have an estate agent come round for a formal valuation, we'd recommend getting a few different online valuations, rather than relying on a single one. This is because different tools use different data to provide you with a value estimate.

For example, where Zoopla's tool looks at asking prices in your local area, GetAgent's tool combines data about recently sold properties in your area with information you tell us about the condition and unique features of the property. Both tools can only provide an estimated value, but together should begin to give you a sense of what amount is reasonable to expect.

FAQs

How reliable are Zoopla's estimates?

Zoopla estimates are not reliable. The main reason they're not accurate is that it can only base the estimate on the sold price data it has access to, and if it's out of date or inaccurate, then your valuation estimate will be too.

Their estimates do not take into account key information like - changes you have made to your property and the condition its in. If you live in an area with lots of similar properties then Zoopla's estimate will be closer to the truth but if you're selling a more unusual property or in an area where houses sell less often then you'll find the estimate less reliable.

How much
is your home worth?

It’s always worth knowing the value of your home. Discover the price of your property with an instant valuation. GetAgent tracks the figures, so you don’t have to.

How much
is your home worth?

It’s always worth knowing the value of your home. Discover the price of your property with an instant valuation. GetAgent tracks the figures, so you don’t have to.

Ready to compare agents?

It takes 2 minutes. 100% free. No obligation.

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