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PeanutButter

Home buyers overpaying by £13,000 as estate agents over-egg the floor space, says report

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It's an advert for this Spec place but this worth thinking about. Estate agents have been known to lie before...

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Property buyers are overpaying by an average of £13,000 because of mistakes made when measuring floor space, according to an explosive report. In London, this figure soars to almost £34,000.

The average property in Britain is mismeasured by 54 sq ft, according to the research by Spec, a property tech firm, meaning buyers could be overpaying by £13,090 based on the typical price per square foot of £242.

Spec said its research revealed that mismeasurement happens in 60pc of sales and that in one in eight cases the amount of floor space was oversold by more than 100 sq ft. In London, this equates to £57,697.

These inaccurate measurements have led to accusations that estate agents could be mis-selling properties to unsuspecting buyers.  Anthony Brown, of Spec, described it as the “great scandal of the property market”.

He added: “For almost everyone, their home is the most valuable thing they ever buy, but they usually have to rely on very inaccurate and misleading measurements that could affect its value by hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

“It is ridiculous that when you buy a pint of beer or a pound of sugar you know exactly what you are getting, but when you buy your home you don’t.”

According to Spec, the issues are primarily caused by simple human error, a lack of available data about properties, or the “systematic” use of average property sizes to determine floor space. The company said its research showed that the current process needs to be reformed so that consumers can have trust in the data they are provided with.

Andrew Boast, of SAM Conveyancing, said some of his clients had purchased new-build properties off-plan and only realised they had been oversold on size at a later date.

“It is unacceptable that they could be buying a smaller property than what was marketed to them,” he added. “Estate agents may argue that they use external companies to deliver their floor plans.  “However, it is still their responsibility to provide accurate measurements and, where it is not possible, make clear that the measurements are estimates.”

He said that buyers who faced this predicament could make a claim for breach of contract or even exit the contract entirely.

Jeremy Leaf, an estate agent based in north London, conceded this is an issue but said it highlighted the importance of a buyer getting an independent valuation carried out.

He said: “In my experience, this does happen a lot, particularly now where buyers are more fixated with price per square foot than they used to be. 

“It all depends on how it is measured and how much of your hand is held over the first part of the tape, so buyer beware.”

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, a trade body representing estate agents, said: “While it is important for measurements to be as accurate as possible, the majority of British homebuyers buy with their heart rather than their head. 

“The average consumer in the UK does not understand floor areas in terms of pricing and will tend to look at the features of the property rather than the overall square footage.”

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/mortgages/home-buyers-overpaying-13000-estate-agents-over-egg-floor-space/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

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not really mis-selling as you/your surveyor are free to measure the property (and should), small discrepancies are inevitable due to measuring equipment/walls etc.

Also, not many really think per sq ft other than in most expensive parts of town. 3 bed semi with large garden 500k, smaller garden 460k etc

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Overegg.

Thats unusual word to use for lying.

Check the rooms sizes and if they differ then sue the EA under trade description.

 

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36 minutes ago, the_dork said:

not really mis-selling as you/your surveyor are free to measure the property (and should), small discrepancies are inevitable due to measuring equipment/walls etc.

Also, not many really think per sq ft other than in most expensive parts of town. 3 bed semi with large garden 500k, smaller garden 460k etc

Not mis-selling but lying.

 

 

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The way it is calculated in France:

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Calculation of floor area[edit]

The effective usable surface area, known as the "superficie Carrez", is the total enclosed floor area of an apartment or other construction discounting walls, partitions, staircases and stairwells, piping and electricity conduits and ducting, window and door embrasures. Parts of the enclosed area which are of less than 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) in height are also excluded.[4]

Lots, or fractions of lots of surface areas of less than 8 square metres (86 sq ft) are also excluded from the calculation of habitable surface area.[5] Typically, maid's rooms (chambre de bonne) would fall into this category.

Cellars, garages, parking places, and other storage facilities sold as separate lots are also excluded.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Carrez

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35 minutes ago, the_dork said:

Also, not many really think per sq ft other than in most expensive parts of town. 3 bed semi with large garden 500k, smaller garden 460k etc

Agreed.  The muppets selling their souls for their little shoe box never think about price per sq ft.  “What’s the max we can borrow” is all they’re worried about.

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20 minutes ago, elephant said:

Agreed.  The muppets selling their souls for their little shoe box never think about price per sq ft.  “What’s the max we can borrow” is all they’re worried about.

Well the problem is that it is a metric that is not officially recorded. In other countries, the price is not of an "average" house, but the avg price per sqft. It becomes the reference point, and you know that in certain part of the country 1 sqm = X and in others it can be 3X. People know how much they are getting and they will negotiate on that basis.

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1 hour ago, the_dork said:

not really mis-selling as you/your surveyor are free to measure the property (and should), small discrepancies are inevitable due to measuring equipment/walls etc.

Also, not many really think per sq ft other than in most expensive parts of town. 3 bed semi with large garden 500k, smaller garden 460k etc

yes

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8 minutes ago, Freki said:

Well the problem is that it is a metric that is not officially recorded. In other countries, the price is not of an "average" house, but the avg price per sqft. It becomes the reference point, and you know that in certain part of the country 1 sqm = X and in others it can be 3X. People know how much they are getting and they will negotiate on that basis.

I reckon it’s a metric that most buyers don’t even consider, let alone know what the going rate for 1 sqm is in their area.

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My point is: they don't because it is unavailable and miss communicated. Make it compulsory to be displayed on any ads, following strict rules (exclude staircase, reduced headroom, parking, shed ...). You will see how quickly people will use it.

When you look at floor plans and some of them mention two different surface area, because one of them includes the space taken by the walls you are baffled.

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2 hours ago, the_dork said:

not really mis-selling as you/your surveyor are free to measure the property (and should), small discrepancies are inevitable due to measuring equipment/walls etc.

How do you measure off plan?

Quote

Andrew Boast, of SAM Conveyancing, said some of his clients had purchased new-build properties off-plan and only realised they had been oversold on size at a later date.

 

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1 hour ago, Freki said:

My point is: they don't because it is unavailable and miss communicated. Make it compulsory to be displayed on any ads, following strict rules (exclude staircase, reduced headroom, parking, shed ...). You will see how quickly people will use it.

When you look at floor plans and some of them mention two different surface area, because one of them includes the space taken by the walls you are baffled.

My point is, I don’t think a lot of them care about exact area measurements, even if it is available.  Heart rules along with desperation to buy the dream house for many.  “The wife says it looks perfect, no need for tape measures” is about right for many of them!

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32 minutes ago, thewig said:

More importantly how do you lie about off plan? The measurements are - literally - all you have!

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buy/property-doctors-my-new-flat-is-smaller-than-the-dimensions-on-t/

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Q I am moving into a newbuild in two weeks. I went in to measure for a sofa bed and found the second bedroom measures about 13 sq ft smaller than the plans, which equates to about 10 per cent of the total area of that room. Every room is a little smaller, but this was the largest difference. One room was 10.7 sq ft, although the plans stated 12 sq ft. I’ve looked online but found nothing to help. Do I have any grounds for a rebate in what I am paying for the flat? Is there a maximum leeway a property can have before the seller or developer is liable?

 

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2 hours ago, elephant said:

I reckon it’s a metric that most buyers don’t even consider, let alone know what the going rate for 1 sqm is in their area.

On what is probably a persons largest purchase in their lifetime, I don't understand how buyers can ignore this. It's the only way to accurately compare houses in any area, and also more importantly to call bullsh!t on ridiculous over-valued properties.

E.g. We looked at a 4-bed semi last week, a nice house, but is on for £785k - way OTT. The house next door sold 6 months ago for £775k, hence their "justification" for the price. The two houses are semi-detached and very different in terms of layout, the other also had a larger garden. A bit of research on Rightmove and I got the floorplans did the maths and found what the price per sq/m equalled. When applied to the house we looked at this suggested a "value" around £640k (at last July's prices).

EA came back and asked for feedback, hit them with some facts and asked why the high valuation? Lots of stuttering and gibbering later they simply stated, that's what the owner asked us to put it on for and he will accept lower offers.

Surely surveyors/mortgage companies use price per sq/m to help value homes?

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5 hours ago, PeanutButter said:

Anthony Brown, of Spec, described it as the “great scandal of the property market”.

Add it to the list...

 

3 hours ago, elephant said:

I reckon it’s a metric that most buyers don’t even consider, let alone know what the going rate for 1 sqm is in their area.

I think that's true but overseas EAs do refer to price or rent per metre...and importantly using a recognised method of measurement (how stair wells treated etc - eg see the RICS code of measuring practice) so you can compare like with like.  Approach of nearly all UK EAs is deliberate obfuscation.

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17 minutes ago, Smiley George said:

On what is probably a persons largest purchase in their lifetime, I don't understand how buyers can ignore this. It's the only way to accurately compare houses in any area, and also more importantly to call bullsh!t on ridiculous over-valued properties.

E.g. We looked at a 4-bed semi last week, a nice house, but is on for £785k - way OTT. The house next door sold 6 months ago for £775k, hence their "justification" for the price. The two houses are semi-detached and very different in terms of layout, the other also had a larger garden. A bit of research on Rightmove and I got the floorplans did the maths and found what the price per sq/m equalled. When applied to the house we looked at this suggested a "value" around £640k (at last July's prices).

EA came back and asked for feedback, hit them with some facts and asked why the high valuation? Lots of stuttering and gibbering later they simply stated, that's what the owner asked us to put it on for and he will accept lower offers.

Surely surveyors/mortgage companies use price per sq/m to help value homes?

Valuation is an art not a science...in other words they make it up as they go along to suit themselves.

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I cant believe that EAs are not properly regulated and have a minimum legal requirement for property listings that they are responsible for.

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24 minutes ago, Wayward said:

Valuation is an art not a science...in other words they make it up as they go along to suit themselves.

:) sorry my mistake.

I'll continue my crusade to see how much progress one man and a spreadsheet can make, if nothing else it winds EA's up something rotten.

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5 hours ago, Smiley George said:

On what is probably a persons largest purchase in their lifetime, I don't understand how buyers can ignore this. It's the only way to accurately compare houses in any area, and also more importantly to call bullsh!t on ridiculous over-valued properties.

I agree but it seems common sense left the UK housing market years ago.

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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