Red hot market warrants proper due diligence

June 21, 2021

Reports across the board are united in suggesting that UK property prices continue to rise despite hitting a record high in recent weeks. As a result, buyers need to be better informed and prepared than ever before.

Halifax reported that the average price of a house in the UK rose to £261,743 in May, an annual increase of nearly 10%. In Greater London the figure is as high as £509,621. As prices climb, what represents value and how can you calculate it?

Professional advice on buying property can be costly but there are a few basic factors that buyers can check themselves without incurring any additional expenditure. One such check is to ensure the validity of the floor plan measurements.

This is particularly relevant in light of the government’s new mortgage guarantee scheme designed to help people with a 5% deposit get on the property ladder.

The average mismeasurement of a London property in its marketing particulars is equivalent to £33,800 in value. As prices continue to rise, there is a very real danger that a first-time buyer could lose the total value of their deposit, if not even more, if their property is revealed to be significantly smaller than advertised. This would leave them in an incredibly vulnerable position.

A recent Spec capture uncovered that a property had been mismeasured by the equivalent of £90,000 in value, leaving the homeowner facing a significant loss when it comes to selling the property. In another case last week, we captured a property for a prospective buyer and found that the floor plan listed online had been overstated by 200sqft – a staggering 25% of the property’s actual size.

This is an enormous, avoidable risk and can have serious legal implications regarding mis-selling if the difference is discovered during or after the sales process. 

These margins for error are taking on ever greater importance and value and must be considered by buyers looking to get a foothold on the property ladder. Price per square foot is the most commonly used metric to justify asking/guide prices in London, yet is all too often based on an average inaccuracy of 54 sqft.

That is a massive discrepancy, so always check the legitimacy of a floor plan and ask how it was measured. Buying a property is a hugely exciting, emotional step but it is also the most significant investment that most people will ever make. Therefore, it’s one that must be based on facts not misinformation. 

To read more about property mismeasurement and its impact, you can read the Spec white paper.

Goodbye approximate measurements. Hello Spec Verified.