Living in a prime location can do wonders for the value of your home. Regardless of what you do to improve your home, there will probably be house prices in top location areas that are way above those possible in your area. Location is everything in the property market, and there is just nothing anyone can do about it. If your home is in a highly desirable neighbourhood, it will probably attract a premium, whatever the condition. However, suppose your home is in an area with a poor reputation. In that case, high crime rates or a lack of amenities, even the most extensive and abundant renovations will not be enough to compete with home values in more prestigious areas. Several factors combine to make certain regions are highly sought-after property locations.
How much does a prime location affect house prices?
While locations can become more desirable over time, the factors contributing to this will usually be out of your control. According to the Channel 4 website, homes in the catchment areas of good schools can attract a premium of between 19 per cent and 34 per cent more than similar homes in less affluent areas. Many parents are selling a house and moving to areas blessed with high-performing schools, and you could be able to command a hefty premium if your home is near one. Before relocating to a different area to be nearer a better school, check out if you’ll be paying a premium using our handy property valuation tool.
Also popular are inner-city areas that are protected from heavy traffic, noise and crime. If a neighbourhood is in a quiet prime location yet offers quick and easy access to the city centre, property prices will usually be higher than average. In London, for example, the inflated house values in the city are forcing many people to move to outlying towns and villages, and many of those areas are experiencing a new property boom.
A prime location is often relative to the individual or family, yet some amenities and facilities are universally appealing. Nearby leisure facilities, shops, restaurants and transport links are always likely to attract higher sold prices – as long as such facilities don’t detract too much from the peaceful nature of a neighbourhood. Property developers are good at monitoring new developments in residential areas, as they can often lead to sharp increases in local property prices.
Popular locations attract higher property prices.
If your property lies just outside a highly sought-after area, you still might be able to take advantage of higher-than-average house prices. However, property hotspots can often price people out of the market, and buyers will often consider compromising slightly near their preferred neighbourhood. For instance, Chiswick in London is a highly desirable residential area at the moment, but buying a home there is prohibitively expensive for most people. However, buyers may consider nearby Acton as an alternative, as house values there are much lower.
Such is the importance of location; homes in sought-after areas can be significantly inferior to others on the market and still command a premium. Not only do these homes sell quickly, but it is also usually possible to instigate a bidding war to achieve special sold prices. House buyers with their heart set on a particularly prime location will often be willing to compromise on size, dimensions and features, so selling your house in such an area is often a straightforward and quick process.
The estate agent’s mantra ‘location, location, location’ may sound tired and cliche, but it has never been more relevant. Most property buyers believe that the area in which they live is far more important than bricks and mortar; in fact, many will be prepared to sacrifice space and comfort to live in a neighbourhood that suits their requirements. And if you are selling in such an area, you can use that to your advantage.