If you’ve found yourself asking: “my property value went down! What happened?” – don’t panic…

Every year, many homeowners struggle with unwelcome results from a recent property value check.

If this has happened to you, you’re probably wondering what’s gone wrong. It’s important to understand what brings down property value in order to command the best possible asking price when selling – fast or at your own pace – or remortgaging.

Why is My Property Value Going Down?

In this article, we explore the various factors that could push the value of your house down.

We also explain how to find local property values to help you decide on the right asking price for your home – and make a few further suggestions on what will increase the value of your home.

Local Changes

A neighbourhood can very easily lose its appeal as a result of major closures or an increase in crime rates.

For example, a key local employer closing its doors may influence an exodus from the area, resulting in a gradual decline. This might include the shutting down of beloved shops, eateries and attractions.

Changes to public transport – the closure of a local train station, for example – may also have a negative impact on the value of any properties in the vicinity. The same effect may be felt after a nearby medical centre shuts down.

A significant rise in crime can lead to concerns about property damage or a general lack of public safety, and this too could push house prices in the neighbourhood way down.

Problem Neighbours

This is often one of the main reasons that makes a house unsellable.

It may be that your neighbours are bringing down your property value. If their property is in a poor or unsanitary condition, their outdoor spaces are unkempt or they have made some rather questionable design or decor decisions, your sale may suffer as a result.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal you can do about this issue besides having a gentle discussion with the culprits; and it’s up to them to agree to make the changes. Homeowners usually have very little legal recourse in these situations. 

However, if you can prove that something that your neighbour is doing is causing actual damage to your property – or if you believe that their outdoor mess is causing a genuine environmental health violation, you may be able to contact your local council and request that they take action.

A House Price Crash

The housing market is difficult to predict, and can be heavily influenced by wider economic factors.

If you bought your home during a boom and invested in a new estimate of property value during a crash, you’re likely to have seen quite a drop.

This is a common occurrence, for example, for those who bought new build properties prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

Nonetheless, regardless of the location, property prices always increase over the long term.

Property Damage

The condition of your home will have a real impact on its value. From major structural issues to discolouration from cigarette smoke to the wear and tear inflicted by pets, a home that looks worse for wear can quickly lose value.

The good news is that this can often be easily rectified. By freshening up paint and other decor, deep cleaning carpets and soft furnishings and giving everything a dust and polish, your home can be transformed.

The same can’t always be said for major structural problems such as subsidence or damp. In many cases, issues of this kind may require the attention of a structural engineer and can be costly to fix.

What Brings Down Property Value? What Brings Down Property Value?

Invasive Species

Look out for Japanese knotweed and other invasive species growing in your garden – they’re very tough to remove – and you might need to call in an expert. If left unchecked, they will take over and could cause major damage to your house. 

The presence of invasive plants can have an immediate negative effect on your home’s value. The same goes for things like wasps’ nests and rodent infestations. 

Outdated Decor

If your home’s interiors are in need of an update, it’s likely to be valued lower.

Carpets, wallpaper and kitchen units can age quickly, as can hardware such as light fittings and door handles.

Fortunately, it’s usually very easy to give your property a quick makeover in order to give its value a little boost – as long as time and budgets allow.

Potential Property Disputes

If your property ownership appears on HM Land Registry as “Absolute Title”, you should have nothing to worry about here. 

However, if you have “Possessory Title” or “Qualified Title”, this may suggest to valuers or potential buyers that the ownership of the house and attached land in question is a little more tenuous. 

Perhaps there is the potential for boundary disputes? Or maybe someone with a better claim to the home could see the resident evicted altogether! 

Relevant ongoing legal battles are likely to push a property’s value down too. 

It’s also worth noting that a freehold property will usually command a higher price than one that is leasehold.

How to Add Value to My Property

You can work out the current value of your property by looking at recently completed sales in your area. We find Rightmove and HM Land Registry are the best sources of information.

Find properties of a similar type, size and condition as yours and check how much they sold for. You can also invest in a professional valuation for something a little more concrete.

If the figure with which you are presented is not what you had hoped, consider the following.

  • Cleaning and updating your home
  • Tidying outside spaces and resolving property disputes
  • Having a gentle discussion with neighbours about the upkeep of their gardens
  • Fixing structural problems
  • Getting invasive plants or pests professionally removed

These approaches can give your home’s value something of a boost.  As a result, you’re likely to achieve a better asking price if you sell.  Or, if you’re remortgaging, the lender would be more encouraged to advance the tax-free funds.

For more information about getting a good price or if you need a quick home sale and would like to receive a cash offer up front – talk to the team at Property Solvers today. We’ll be happy to provide you with expert advice.