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Rebeccajohnston

Is Per Sqft A Good Way To Measure House Prices?

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I was browsing the thread on Kingston / Surbiton and notice that outrageously expensive 2 bedroom flat.

Surely, in the London market, there is a lowest and highest per sqft value for a particular area, according to their pecking order...

For instance, Wembley should be cheaper than Brent.

Why don't we see more of these measurement, which will allow us to truly see where is really expensive or overpriced.

Not saying this is right, but it might in fact show Buckhurst Hill (larger properties) is cheaper than Barking (smaller properties) - may be an over exaggeration?

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This is common practice on the continent, where they seem to be less concerned about number of bedrooms (on a side note, my sister split a large bedroom into 2 and now has a 3 bed house, adding 1000s of £'s of value, in her eyes?!)! Takes time to convert the EA measurement though and I'm not always sure I trust their measurement in any case!

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For me the £/ft2 is an indicator but subject to large variations. It does not take into account things like:

- type of property (victorian house vs ex-LA flat),

- outside space (big premium in London)

- leasehold (70 years on lease vs 125 years)

- catchment areas

Have a look at the Guardian link, it shows examples - pick SW2 and see the differences there....

Outside of London and in continential Europe, I don't think that these have such an effect on house prices, so the £/ft2 can be a more accurate indicator.

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The correct answer is price-per-square meter.


Here in Germany there are regs on what can be included (and must be excluded) from such a calculation. E.g. only include rooms with windows, exclude area of room with low ceilings.


Then again, a lot of British houses would be knocked down if they had to conform to German building codes.

Edited by whitemice

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I was browsing the thread on Kingston / Surbiton and notice that outrageously expensive 2 bedroom flat.

Surely, in the London market, there is a lowest and highest per sqft value for a particular area, according to their pecking order...

For instance, Wembley should be cheaper than Brent.

Why don't we see more of these measurement, which will allow us to truly see where is really expensive or overpriced.

Not saying this is right, but it might in fact show Buckhurst Hill (larger properties) is cheaper than Barking (smaller properties) - may be an over exaggeration?

Price per sq ft +- a bit for location etc is THE only way to buy a house.

It's exactly how any estate agents I've had a quote from has valued them.

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I agree, price per square foot is the only way to really get a feel for value, but the variations are massive.

That over-priced flat in Surbiton that you refer to has an asking price that equates to £970 per sqft, which is totally out of step with anything else in the area. The most expensive (per sqft) sale in that area was a couple of roads away last year and ended up at £800 per sqft, BUT that was a house with a lot of potential. You could probably double it in size whilst still retaining a good garden, and a lot of that was priced in to the original sale. Once finished, the total cost for the house would be under £700 per sqft which is more in line with the local average.

Based on recent sales in that direct area, the value of that flat is around £600 per sqft or £325k. The questions then are how much should you add to that for the larger than average garden and the nicer than average character? How much should you take off because it has no parking?

The problem is that you can only base that on a few roads. If you take the KT6 area as a whole, there are parts of it where a property will never have sold for more £350 per sqft which obviously makes these prices look even more ridiculous than they already are.

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