Out of a job!

Websites like Zoopla are keen to let you think that you can somehow compute the value of a home. I beg to differ.

I know that there is a wall of money desparate to commoditise housing seeking a way to calculate the value of a property but if there were then there would be an app on your phone that would tell you and I’d be out of a job!

Whilst you may be able to estimate the likely value of a new build property and come up with a price per square foot I’m not convinced that you can do this with second hand homes. Part of the value is scientific – based on the yield that the property would generate for an investor for example half of the value is artistic – the feeling you get when you walk across the threshold for instance or the price of the view. Always subjective and often different from person to person.

Would you want to base your offer for a property on the price paid for the one next door? If the neighbour had been bought by a Russian gangster with laundered money for his mistress then what he paid might not be that relevant. Is what some fool paid for another property up the road who fell for the estate agent patter really going to dictate what you will offer?

10,000 years ago if I wanted your cave I would walk in and bash you over the head.

200 years ago if I wanted your house I’d marry your daughter.

Today we accept the convention of exchanging a number of beans or coins in return for the property. We can all estimate what a property might be worth but I think a home is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it and if it’s enough then the seller might part with it.