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Are Zoopla price estimates accurate?

Answer

Generally no. Statistical estimations must have large amounts of data to calculate an average price at any one point in time. So to find out the true average price of a property in a given street you would need at least 30 properties to have sold in the last 3 months. This means no highly reliable figures exist at street level but they do at postcode level. But an average is just that, averages are in the middle which means there are more expensive, and cheaper properties in that area. Knowing the average price of a house in LU7 will not tell you whether the one you are looking at is expensive, or cheap. As such their figures are not recommended as they can both overprice and under-price an area.

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How to Really Buy a Property

"... investigate the figures yourself. house prices do not rise consistently month after month as we will see in Chapter 4: Understanding the Property Market. Global events also cause fluctuations that either change or exacerbate the cycle. An example of this occurred in 2003 where the war on Iraq caused prices to drop by around 10-20% in central London. The war over, prices corrected themselves and then in the spring of 2004 rose another 10%. This lead the media to report that "house prices are rising by 18.5 per cent a year - Are we heading for a crash?" (The Independent, 3rd April 2004). Enough to make anyone think the market was over cooking itself. What the media didn't consider was that half of the rise was down to a recovery of the falling market that had occurred earlier due to people's fear over the war...."
"... headlines Taking the raw data from the graph it is possible to report the above in the following ways: "house prices crash more than 5% in less than 6 months" using Q3 2001 to Q4 2001 "London market moving up more than 10% per year" using Q2 2009 to Q1 2010 "house prices static for months"..."
"... than 6 months" using Q3 2001 to Q4 2001 "London market moving up more than 10% per year" using Q2 2009 to Q1 2010 "house prices static for months" using Q2 2011 to Q3 2011 At an even more local level the media also loves to talk about "hot spots" on a month by month basis as if this..."
"... positive and negative Taking the raw data it is possible to report the above in the following ways: "SW4 house prices crash more than 10% in less than 6 months" using Q1 2003 to Q2 2003 "SW4 house prices boom by over 40%" using Q4 2011 to Q2 2012 "SW4 house prices static for over 12..."
"... above in the following ways: "SW4 house prices crash more than 10% in less than 6 months" using Q1 2003 to Q2 2003 "SW4 house prices boom by over 40%" using Q4 2011 to Q2 2012 "SW4 house prices static for over 12 months" using Q1 2003 to Q2 2004 In other words, no matter the headline you..."
"... in less than 6 months" using Q1 2003 to Q2 2003 "SW4 house prices boom by over 40%" using Q4 2011 to Q2 2012 "SW4 house prices static for over 12 months" using Q1 2003 to Q2 2004 In other words, no matter the headline you are after, you can find it in the data if you want to. The trouble..."
"... Saturday 3rd April 2004 The Independent Newspaper lead with a front page story that asked "Are we heading for a crash". Correctly they assigned quotes from the Halifax which said the rises were "just another milestone" but then perhaps the journalist became frustrated that no one would support his headline. He continued, "Some commentators believe that present house values are unsustainable and the only question is when, not if, the market will crash" but did not give any idea who this panel of experts were and where they got their information. The only quotable source he found to back up this view was a stock broking company which tried to compare house prices to..."
"... the same media outlets are quite ready to contradict themselves as in the case of the following headlines from the BBC: 1st March 2005: "house prices show slight increase" 4th March 2005: "UK house prices slip in February" 31st March 2005: "house prices dip worst in a decade" 5th April 2005:..."
"... themselves as in the case of the following headlines from the BBC: 1st March 2005: "house prices show slight increase" 4th March 2005: "UK house prices slip in February" 31st March 2005: "house prices dip worst in a decade" 5th April 2005: "house prices stage rise in March" and so..."
"... from the BBC: 1st March 2005: "house prices show slight increase" 4th March 2005: "UK house prices slip in February" 31st March 2005: "house prices dip worst in a decade" 5th April 2005: "house prices stage rise in March" and so on! While the BBC, in recent years, has improved the..."
"... increase" 4th March 2005: "UK house prices slip in February" 31st March 2005: "house prices dip worst in a decade" 5th April 2005: "house prices stage rise in March" and so on! While the BBC, in recent years, has improved the quality of its headlines to include their source, this..."

"... Nationwide has been collecting house price data since the early 1970s. As a lender they are able to see the number of applications coming in for approval and this gives an indicator of changes coming in the market. If less people are applying the market is beginning to slow and hence house prices may fall, so long as you assume supply remains..."
"... - Perhaps the most well known gloom-sayer is Capital Economics, advised by Roger Bootle. They tend to predict price decreases almost all the time. And when house prices are decreasing they predict even larger falls. Their track record for accuracy is disastrous as the following shows: ..."
"... 20% fall between 2005 and 2007. Prices rose 15%. In December 2004 Ed Stansfield (spokesman for Capital Economics) said "our forecast of a 20% peak-to-trough drop in average house prices - remains on track." Prices rose 15% over the next two years. At the start of 2009 they predicted a fall of..."
"... December 2007 the BBC reported "To date they have been about as wide off the mark as is possible." Which puts it mildly and questions why they are still asked for their views. Ironically after nearly a decade of predicting a crash, and as house prices stood on the precipice in April 2007, Ed Stansfield from Capital Economics said "It gets to a stage when you can't keep saying a crash will happen while prices keep on rising". The following year prices dropped..."

"... and utterly wrong. A perfect example was the Nationwide, much of whose business rests on the property market. In January 2013 they predicted house prices for the year would be static. According to their own records prices actually rose 8% in the following 12 months. Capital Economics, a..."
"... property we can also produce meaningless information. According to the Nationwide the average price of a UK home at the end of 1999 was £74,683 but the average for the ten years before was £56,713. So it should follow that house prices would decrease back to their 'long term' average but they..."

"... as property bubbles. For a property bubble to occur real estate must be over valued by the market in isolation. If, in 2008, the economy had continued to grow but house prices had started to drop then it could be said that there had been a property bubble. A perfect example of a real..."

Chapter 13: Your Own Homework
"... this is a black hole many buyers fall down. There are numerous sources on the web with average house prices, average salaries and a wealth of other data which you can use to start building your own model of what will happen to the market. But these rarely work. A visit to the archives of housepricecrash.co.uk will reveal some very sensibly argued predictions that never came to..."

Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals
"... the buyer or the vendor proceeding. What makes the buyer stop buying What makes the seller stop selling house prices Falling house prices Rising Loosing their buyer Loosing the Property they want to buy Any part of the chain below..."
"... makes the buyer stop buying What makes the seller stop selling house prices Falling house prices Rising Loosing their buyer Loosing the Property they want to buy Any part of the chain below collapses Any part of the..."

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Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

Download the Free Preview copy right now. I won't be asking for your email so I can bombard your inbox with 'special offers' and 'discounts' because I know most people who read the Free Preview buy the full copy. See for yourself!