House prices are determined by a wide range of factors. Although many of these factors are relatively straightforward - such as size, location and age - there are a number of hidden elements that could decrease the value of a property.
The Rightmove House Price Index is an invaluable tool when it comes to tracking the ups and downs of the housing market.
Monitoring how much properties are being marketed for in areas you are interested in will certainly give you a good idea of the housing market in general.. However, there are some issues which affect individual properties and which can reduce their value.

The effect of hidden factors on house prices

One factor which people often fail to take into account when considering house prices is the state of the property's boiler. A faulty boiler can lead to serious and potentially costly problems in the future, and replacing an old boiler that has come to the end of its life is an expense no-one wants to have to deal with.
You should also ascertain the age and state of the electrical wiring in the property, in case rewiring is required imminently. Other factors affecting house prices, which might not be easy to spot and could prove costly include:

  • Problems with structural timber
  • Subsidence
  • Leaks
  • Damp
  • Fungal decay (dry rot and wet rot)
  • Broken roof tiles
  • Plumbing problems
  • Condition and age of equipment and fittings - such as white goods, flooring and double glazing

Since homes - and their fixtures and fittings - decay naturally over time, deferred maintenance and avoidance of general upkeep is a common explanation for why some homes sell for less than others.

Future developments in house prices

For most people, buying a house is a long-term investment that they expect to be committed to for an extended period of time. Therefore, when considering house prices in your chosen area, don't just think about what the location is like today.
For example, if there are a number of empty properties in the vicinity, there is no way of knowing what these buildings may become in the future.
Similarly, when considering a property you should also take into account any planning issues that may arise nearby. A planned development could significantly change the character and tone of the area, making it far less attractive to buyers and, therefore, decreasing house prices.
All of these factors can have an effect on house prices, underlining the importance of using every resource available to research the state of the market in your chosen area so that you can make a truly informed choice. Rightmove is one of these resources - browse through our site to see how we can help you.

House prices articles