News & views from Urban Sales and Lettings

House Price Indices - Property Portals

Category: Blog
Posted by: Administrator on 20 March 2013
Comments: 2

The advent of online marketing and advertising has seen the introduction of online property portals to estate agency in the UK. These are sites which advertise for agents and developers and provide an online platform for them to advertise to potential buyers across the UK. There are several notable sites within the UK, the largest and most successful site being Rightmove.

Rightmove are the largest property portal in the UK and are one of the most visited sites in the country. Many types of businesses can create accounts andadvertise on Rightmove such as estate agents, online agaents, developers or large portfolio landlords. At any one time they list around 800,000 properties for sale by estate agents and developers across the UK. With such a large proportion of the available properties for sale at any one time being listed with them, Rightmove have access to a large data set from which they can draw up a monthly house price index for England and Wales based upon current asking prices of property.

The house price index they create is based on the asking prices of homes which have been newly listed with the portal, Rightmove say this is around 30,000-40,000 properties a week, which gives them data for at least 120,000 properties each calendar month.

From this they remove any properties which are significant outliers and adjust the data to avoid it being skewed in months where, for example, more flats were sold than detached properties. This data is then used to generate an average national price and to provide month on month comparisons. Commenting on their index Rightmove say, “It is produced from factual data of actual prices of properties currently on the market.” This includes “circa 90% of the market – the largest and most up to date monthly sample of any house price indicator in the UK.” The house price index from Rightmove does have its downsides as they themselves admit, “It reflects asking prices when properties first come on the market, rather than those recorded by lenders during the mortgage application process or final sales prices reported to the Land Registry.” However they can normally provide some forecast for the housing market based upon the level of new properties they receive and the prices that sellers and agents believe can be achieved.

For example in their house price index for February 2013, Rightmove reported that the housing market has seen an encouraging start to the year with the average asking price now at £235,741, the highest since February 2008. Some of the most dramatic increases in asking prices have been in Northern regions of the country which appear to be rebounding from substantial drops late last year.

Whilst the house price index from Rightmove may not be based on actual sold prices, it can provide an insight into the opinions on and forecasts for the future of the UK housing market, as price increases will generally be in anticipation of a more buoyant market.


Selling property in Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Category: Blog
Posted by: Administrator on 19 March 2013
Comments: 0

We recently received the instruction to sell a two bedroom cottage located in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Our clients opted to purchase our Option Two sales package for the fee of just £299.95+VAT. This included a floor plan, EPC, images and a For Sale board as well as comprehensive marketing coverage across all the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla.

After just three weeks the property was under offer at full asking price, the sale proceeded smoothly through to completion.

Using our service saved our clients over £3800 when compared to high street commission fees of 2%+VAT.

Our clients very kindly sent us the following review of their experience selling with UrbanSalesandLettings:

“I was sceptical about using an online agency, but really shouldn't have been. Urban Sales & Lettings were with me each step of the way, and didn't let me down once. Ruby, Bethan & Sarah kept me up to date with text messages & emails for potential viewings, and phoned when offers were made. My property appeared on all the web sites as stated, and while it was on I added new pictures and added some more description to the ad. This is all for no extra cost, perfect. Within 3 weeks my property was sold. They passed the details to solicitors and phoned a couple of times to check the progress and make sure we were all running to plan. Saving £3875.00 Kerching! Thank you Urban Sales & Lettings, this is definitely the way forward.
We highly RECOMMEND RECOMMEND RECOMMEND.... what more can I say. Sorry nearly forgot..... We got FULL asking price too.”

If you would like to get in touch with one of our qualified agents to discuss selling your property please call on 0800 68 999 55 or email us at we are open seven days a week and look forward to assisting you with your sale.

Selling Property in Cheshire

Category: Blog
Posted by: Administrator on 14 March 2013
Comments: 0

We recently received the instruction to sell a three bed semi detached property located in Runcorn, Cheshire.

After three months on the market with extensive coverage on all the UK’s largest property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla creating steady interest our client accepted an offer and the sale completed seven weeks later.

On completion our client kindly emailed us to say:

“Just to let you know that our sale completed today. Thank you for the service you provided in selling the property. I have already recommended you to friends of mine who are thinking of selling their property. Once again many thanks!”

By deciding to sell via an online estate agent our client made a saving of £2,600 when compared to local agents commission fees at 2%

If you have a property to sell in Cheshire please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss our sales services. We are open seven days a week and available via 0800 68 999 55.

House Price Indices - Mortgage Lenders

Category: Blog
Posted by: Administrator on 14 March 2013
Comments: 0

Each month there are several house price indices produced by a number of sources which provide statistics on the UK housing market including the change in price of a typical home on a monthly and annual basis. These are frequently reviewed and used by estate agents and housing market experts. Two such indices are produced by Halifax and Nationwide, two of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders. Both produce a monthly report which covers the change in price for an average property, a comparison to the average price recorded the previous year and quarterly regional data.

Halifax is part of the Lloyds Banking Group and its monthly house price index shows the price of an ‘average’ property in the UK. To provide this it uses data of approved Halifax mortgages – the offer price for the property once the mortgage company has agreed to finance it - for each calendar month and assigns values to different characteristics of the property, e.g., number of bedrooms, double glazing, etc, and uses these to calculate the average price under what is known as the hedonic method. Nationwide is the UK’s largest building society and is also responsible for a significant percentage of approved mortgages. Like Halifax it uses information from its approved mortgages in a calendar month to provide an average price by also using the hedonic method.

However critics (such as market commentators and some estate agents) of the house price indices produced by Halifax and Nationwide warn that months with a low number of transactions can skew the data. Halifax is also typically influenced by a northern bias whilst there tends to be a southern bias to Nationwide’s data. With this in mind, the ‘average’ price shown may not always represent the typical property in the UK.

As a result of this the statistics provided by both can vary between the two indices each month. For example in February Halifax reported that house prices increased by 1.9% with the average price of a property now £163,600. However in the same period Nationwide reported that the price of a typical house rose by just 0.2% to an average price of £162,638 – a price that is unchanged compared to February 2012.

However, whilst the data is conflicting with regards to present house prices, both Halifax and Nationwide are anticipating a similar outcome for the UK housing market in the coming months. Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner, commented on the figures stating; “For the second month in a row UK house prices remained flat in annual terms, maintaining the trend of broad stability that has been evident over the past two years. While activity in the housing market remains subdued by historic standards, there have been tentative signs of a pick up in recent months. The Funding for Lending Scheme has achieved some success in bringing down mortgage rates, with encouraging signs of an improvement in credit availability.” This statement was supported by Martin Ellis at Halifax who commented that; “The housing market continued to provide evidence of improvement in February. Prices in the three months to February were 1.9% higher than in the previous three months. This was the third successive increase in this measure of the underlying trend.”


Win £100 worth of M&S vouchers

Posted by: Administrator on 21 February 2013
Comments: 0

It's easy, just connect with us on Facebook, twitter or Google+  and you will automatically be entered into our draw to win £100 worth of M&S vouchers.

Click here to circle us Google+

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By connecting with us you will not only be entered into our prize draw but you will be kept up to date with all the latest property news and legislation changes. We post regular competitions, giving away £1000's in prizes from landlord insurances to the IPAD Mini. 


. This prize draw is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over.

2. Details of how to enter form part of the terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the entrantagrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

3. Entries must are submitted via Facebook, Twitter or Google plus and entry is restricted to one per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries or entries sent through agencies and third parties will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of despatch will not be accepted as proof of receipt. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date. The winner’s name and county can be obtained by sending a sae to M&S Winner, Urban Sales and Lettings, Calverley House, 55 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells , Kent, TN12TU between June 10 and  August 10, 2013.

4. All entries must be received by midnight on May 31, 2013.

5. The winner will announced on the their chosen Social Media site within twenty eight days of the closing date of the prize draw. The winner Should contact Urban Sales and Lettings with their details.Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner, drawn in accordance with these terms and conditions.

6. The prize as described is available on the date of publication.

7. One entrant will win £100 worth of M&S Vouchers

8. The prize is subject to availability, non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

9. The winner will be required to participate in publicity.

10. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.