House prices have rocketed over the last 20 years, even despite the 2008 financial crash (image: PA)
Average house prices have been rocketing for more than 20 years as the UK has struggled to build enough homes to satisfy demand.
So, if you’re a homeowner, it could be a good time to sell.
But how can you find out how much your house is worth - and what quick steps can you take to boost that value?
Here’s what you need to know.
How to find out the value of your home
If you want to get an accurate picture of your home’s value, you should contact an estate agency.
But if you want to get a general idea of your property’s worth, there are a number of ways you can do it online.
Look at how much homes sold for in your area
To understand how much your property could be worth, it’s a good idea to have a bit of local context - especially if your home is a similar build to other properties in the area.
As well as showing what current sale asking prices are, both Rightmove and Zoopla also show how much properties were sold for and when, as well as details included in their adverts - like descriptions and floor plans.
Zoopla also offers a free valuation tool - although the figure it gives you might not necessarily be spot on.
Check current house price trends
You can see how many properties are being sold in your area and for how much by looking at the UK House Price Index (HPI).
While it is the most accurate measure of UK property prices at national and regional level, it is always at least a month out of date.
So, in the current climate where prices are rising dramatically month-on-month, it might not be entirely accurate in the here and now.
Halifax’s version of the HPI updates more frequently but is based on mortgage approvals.
Given these don’t always go through, it isn’t necessarily a precise measure of house prices.
Nationwide also operates a similar tool on its website, and can also tell you how your property’s value might have changed since its last sale.
Again, it might not be a completely accurate picture of your home’s value as it does not always take into account home renovations or adaptations that could alter your property’s value.
Look at house price forecasts
It can be interesting to know where experts think house prices are headed if you’re thinking of selling up but aren’t sure when to take the plunge.
The big caveat is that forecasts are of course informed guesses, and shouldn’t be taken as gospel.
One good site to get the latest thinking on where the housing market is headed is housepricecrash.co.uk.
While it has an agenda - as its name clearly suggests - it analyses data from respected sources, including the Financial Times and the Land Registry to make its predictions.
Quick tips for how to boost your home’s value and marketability
Whatever the value of your property is now, you can always boost it by making adjustments to your home.
The great thing is that not all of the things you can do will cost you a lot of money.
- Fix any issues - whether it’s replacing missing roof tiles, dealing with leaks or filling up cracks, it’s a good idea to ensure your property is in the best condition possible ahead of any valuation
- Freshen up the paintwork - if your home looks like it’s in good nick, it will make it more attractive to prospective buyers
- Think about your layout - by shifting things around a bit, you could boost the impression of space in your home
- Get gardening - even if you’re not especially greenfingered, giving your garden a bit of love can make it look bigger and more appealing to prospective buyers. Adding features, like decking or garden furniture, could also add value
- Get planning permission - it can be a long and tedious process, but getting planning permission for some form of extension to your home could boost your home’s worth. You’re even more likely to add value if you follow through and extend with, say, a loft conversion - although this will set you back
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