Thinking of moving house

Posted by Peter Kent in Neighbourhood on 10 May 2012 - Peter is a co-founder of checkmyfile

According to figures released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) earlier this week, London continues to see a buoyant property market with 86% of London based surveyors reporting stable prices or price increases in their patch.

The rest of the country is a very different picture, with 19% more provincially based surveyors reporting price falls than price rises. Regional differences are quite stark. In Wales, 36% of surveyors reported price falls, and in Northern Ireland 50% said prices were falling.

A RICS spokesman commented, "It is still noteworthy that 63% of respondents reported no change in prices, and of the ones that did see a fall in prices, 81% did so in the 0-2% range."

Mortgage giant Halifax reported independently that house prices fell by 2.4% in April, again with wide regional differences.

When looking to buy a property, the old adage of "Location, Location, Location" is as true today as it always has been. Pick the wrong area, and no matter how lovely your property is, the future value will be compromised.

If you are moving locally, then you will already have a good idea about the area you are considering, but what if you are moving into a new area? You could ask local Estate Agents, but can you really trust their judgement when they are hoping to sell you a house?

The answer is to use our Check Any Postcode service. Just enter the postcode of the area you are considering and read all about it. Amongst other things you can view:

• The average credit score of the people who live there and how this compares with the UK average

• The type of people who live there, including social class, marital status, age, educational qualifications, employment type and income. It even shows the kind of newspaper that residents typically read!

• The type of property to be found there, for example terraced or detached

• The average price for each type of property (from actual sales prices reported to the Land Registries)

• A satellite picture of the house so that you can be sure that nothing nasty is lurking behind that wall.

A street plan of the area using Google Maps that allows you to simulate walking along a street, looking at photographic images as you go.

As you can see, you can check out an area even before fixing up an appointment to view. Why waste time looking at the inside of properties when the area doesn’t fit your basic needs?

Peter Kent is a co-founder of Checkmyfile and has a degree in Mathematics from the University of London. You can contact him at peter.kent@checkmyfile.com

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