Hometrack launches online service to value property

Today Hometrack has launched a brand new online service allowing home owners, home buyers and investors to value a property to a level only previously available to high street mortgage lenders.

Hometracks online service, www.hometrack.co.uk is set to revolutionise the house buying process as the general public can use the figures to negotiate on the price of the property or similarly ensure an estate agents valuation is correct. Particularly in this current market where property prices are continuing to readjust it is crucial that homeowners do not pay over the odds.

The user friendly service goes way beyond the nosey neighbour websites. Hometracks system provides an actual valuation based on location, property type and bedroom count, whereas other sites such as myhouseprice.com simply only provide details of how much other houses were sold for.

As the leading provider of automated valuation models in the UK, Hometracks new product utilises a database of over 13 million property records to undertake online valuations. The estimate is based on actual valuation and real transactions data from a variety of sources, including surveyors valuations throughout the UK and information from HM Land Registry.

Mark Witherspoon, chief executive of Hometrack, says: This new product really will revolutionise the house buying process as the mortgage-approved valuations create transparency around valuation inconsistencies as well as help buyers and sellers reach an agreement on the value of a property.

As a property is only worth how much someone is willing to pay for it, there can be no absolute value. Prices will always be in a range, typically as much as plus or minus 10% on an average property depending on who is buying or selling it and the propertys condition and location.

But, we are the first company to offer customers such an independent breadth of information, and are confident that it will become an important resource for anyone looking to buy, sell or simply find out more about an area. Finding out what someone paid for a house in the past is interesting, but knowing what it may be worth today is invaluable.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, says: With a period of low, single digit house price growth ahead, homeowners and investors need to do their research into what they pay for a property. If they dont, and end up over-paying, they can not rely on the market to save them as it has done over the past decade.

The property report, which gives up to date information on the valuation of your current property, is available for 19.95 including VAT. In addition to the online valuation service, Hometrack also provides all Land Registry information for free, including past sales information and in-depth, up-to-date information from its monthly survey of house prices and market trends across England and Wales.

The valuation service is accurate for the majority of properties, typically the 80% of sales that fall either side of the national average price. It is not a perfect system for all properties with lower confidence levels for unusual properties or those with particular distinctive features.