If you’ve been living in your home for a little while, you might be interested to see how much you’d make if you sold it right now.
Maybe you’re trying to decide between renting out or selling up, or perhaps you’re just curious about how your property has improved in value over the years.
There are a number of ways to figure out whether your house has gone up in value. None of these methods are 100% accurate. But they’ll all give you an idea of what you can expect your house is worth.
Below we outline some of the most effective, free ways of figuring out the value of your house in the UK.
As a general rule, houses do go up in value if you’ve had them for a number of years. This happens for various reasons.
In part it’s because housing supply in the UK doesn’t always keep up with the growth in population. In part it’s because the government continues to develop and make investments into local neighbourhoods, making them more desirable places to live.
However, the amount houses go up in value isn’t consistent. The housing market fluctuates in line with the wider economy, and other external events.
For example, the UK’s Land registry figures in March 2020 found that the average house price was £231,855. This was 0.2% less than the month before, but 2.1% higher than the same month the previous year. The upwards trend wasn’t a straight line, but most people’s houses had still ultimately gone up in value.
Researching the market is a great place to start figuring the amount your house has gone up in value. The Land Registry and HMRC release monthly updates on house prices, and how they've changed. You’ll be able to see the average percentage change in house prices since you bought your house. This can then be used to gauge very roughly your home’s value.
For example: if you bought your house 5 years ago, and prices are now on average 6% higher, you can estimate that your property is worth 6% more than the amount you bought it for.
Remember that these figures are usually an average for the entire UK, or for a large area (like the North West). However, each local area has a unique housing market too. And house values change by different amounts in different places - even if they follow the same general UK trend.
As part of your research make sure you check out the specifics for your local area too. GetAgent’s area data dashboards can help. We break down how house prices have changed in your postcode, by type of property (eg. 2 bedroom house). This will give you a more in-depth view into the actual situation near you, and can be more accurate than relying on UK-based estimates.
Another way to get a sense of how much your home has increased in value is to check out the recently sold prices of other properties nearby.
Not only will this give you a chance to check out the value of homes close by, you’ll also see what sort of competition you'd have if you put your house on the market right now.
You can check out recently sold prices on the Land Registry. There is generally a three month delay between the sale and the prices appearing on the Land Registry, but these prices will be the most accurate.
You might also be able to see sold prices on property portals like Zoopla. However, how accurate these are will depend upon when the property was last sold.
A simple way to get all the information you need from the first two steps is to use an instant valuation tool. These are sometimes also known as an automated valuation model (AVM). These calculators use information from a wide range of data sources to give you an estimated figure of what your house might sell for if you put it on the market right now.
But, not all instant valuation tools were made equal. Many won’t be able to give you an accurate indication of how much your property has gone up in value.
So, how do you find an instant valuation tool that’s trustworthy?
For the best chance at finding out how much your property has gone up in value, look for a valuation tool with the following features:
Look for instant valuation tools that use data from reputable sources. They should use the Land Registry at the very least. The best instant val tools will also use information from major property portals, and if they are a large service provider: their own databases.
Local housing markets act differently to the wider market, even if on the whole they all follow the same general trend. Instant valuation tools that look at local neighbourhoods, preferably at a postcode level, are going to give more useful information about the value of your home.
The main flaw of instant valuation tools is that they don't take into account the unique features of your home. On paper your house might be very similar to your next door neighbours; perhaps you both have a two bedroom terrace house. But, if you’ve had any renovations done, or your home has different features - like an extra bathroom, or original fireplaces - your properties won’t be worth the same.
Because online valuation tools won’t know about these differences most are only able to provide a very rough estimate of value.
However, the very best valuation tools allow you to compare your home with other nearby properties and make adjustments to get a more accurate valuation.
GetAgent’s instant valuation tool uses historical price trends, and takes information from the major online property portals, the Land Registry, and our own databases, to provide a comprehensive analysis of the value of properties like yours in the local area. You’ll then be able to nuance your initial value estimate by comparing your property with pictures of recently sold homes nearby. You'll be able to compare the internal features of your house with these local properties. This will give you a more accurate value estimate than other instant, online, valuation tools.
Your report will also include:
A chart mapping the changes in house prices over several years
Your home’s personal sold price history
An assessment of how good selling conditions in your area
If you want a more in-depth assessment of how much your property’s value has gone up, the best thing you can do is to talk to an experienced estate agent.
They won’t be able to give you a valuation instantly. But, after a visit and thorough look round your property they will be able to provide you with the most accurate estimation of what your home is currently worth.
For more information on how an estate agent values a property check out our blog.
Our nifty comparison tool can tell you which estate agents in your area provide the most accurate property valuations. Check it out here.
It takes 2 minutes. 100% free. No obligation.
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