Come the end of March, we will be bombarded by yet another slew of reports on house prices – the results from GSPC are due out on the 8th April. But whether prices are up, down or unchanged matters not a jot in terms of the value of your home.
Why? Because property markets are much, much more local than house price reports can deal with. GSPC’s results are arguably more relevant in this area than national alternatives because we focus exclusively on the west of Scotland. But even then, what is happening in Kilmarnock can be quite different to what is happening in Kirkintilloch.
Even in areas that we think of as being one location, such as the West End of Glasgow, there are a range of ‘micro’ markets. The market south of Highburgh Road, for example, is quite different to the market north of it.
I can illustrate this with a handy map (see illustration). This is a map of ‘constant quality’ house prices across Glasgow. Constant quality means that it is the price that exactly the same property would sell for in different locations.
The higher the peak, the higher the selling price for that property in that location. The large ‘mountain’ in the middle is the west end of Glasgow with the start of Bearsden on its right and parts of the south side to its left.
The key point here, however, is that this is a mountainous scene. You don’t get a rolling landscape where prices change very gradually over distance, you get steep cliffs showing where average selling prices are dramatically different for properties just a few hundred yards away.
That’s what I mean by markets being local. Your home can be just yards away from another property that is worth significantly more or less than yours. And different micro markets will experience different trends in prices.
But house price reports average out these differences over relatively large areas. So their average results don’t apply to any property, some of which may have gained more than suggested and others lost more or gained less.
That’s why applying the findings of these reports to your home is meaningless. The only way to know how much your home is worth is to get a professional to provide a thorough evaluation based on the latest sales in your area. If you want GSPC to arrange a valuation for you, please call us on freephone 08000 191257 or go to: http://www.gspc.co.uk/request-valuationp.s. We’ll post our latest market report here on the 8th April. If you would like to know when it has been published, please sign up to ‘subscribe via e-mail’.