The ‘Hidden’ Information In Property Listings .... And What You Can Learn From It

If you are deal sourcing and packaging (or investing for yourself) you can never have too much information on the property you’re considering and the market.

Property listings offer some basic information including a description, the location and the asking price. Dig a little deeper, however, and there is much more invaluable information hidden in plain sight. Here’s what it is and what you can learn from this information.

Price trend information

While the price of a property itself is important price trends provide a valuable insight into its investment potential. Price trends show whether prices are rising, falling or staying static and so help you decide whether to invest now, or to wait. Price trends are also useful when choosing the best time to sell a project.

National and regional price trend statistics are of minimal use in practice. Considering local comparables, from actual sales in the immediate local area, is much more useful.

Price change information

Whether the asking price of a property has changed can provide a valuable insight. Most frequently, price changes are reductions. If the reduced price offers good value compared to similar properties for sale it could identify a possible bargain is to be had.

A price reduction could also indicate where a vendor is keen to sell and so a significantly lower offer will be accepted – especially if there have been several recent price reductions.

Sales history

Looking back at previous actual sale prices of the property, if any, can help in gauging the true market value of a property. Consider how the property’s pricing compares to the average level of price changes in that area.

Considering sales history in the wider market can be useful too. It can help you form an opinion on price trends. It could indicate where there are opportunities to be had by renovating, developing or flipping in that area.

Relisting history

A relisting (or relistings) of a property can indicate several things: It can indicate that the initial asking price was too high. It can indicate where a fast sale is sought. It can also indicate where an offer or a sale has fallen through. This could represent an opportunity for a buyer who can buy quickly, such as an investor.

Time on the market

An investor, or deal packager and sourcer, should always consider how long a property has been on the market and try to understand why. It can be an indicator of market health, and may indicate an investment opportunity.

Sellers of recently listed property may not be amenable to a low offer until their property has been fully exposed to the market. On the other hand, if the market is ‘hot’ it may be necessary for buyers to move fast and make a strong asking price offer.

For property that has been on the market some time, time on market may reveal a potential bargain. It might indicate that the market is cool, the price is too high and that the seller will be open to a low offer.

Sales volume

A hot market is one with relatively few properties for sale and many sales. A cool market is one with many properties and few sales. This information can help you decide how best to proceed.

In a hot market buyers need to act quickly and make strong offers. In a cool market buyers can take their time and make speculative offers. You can use this information when buying and when selling, ie. if you are buying to flip or renovate and sell.

Bear in mind that in a market with higher listings and sales volume local market information is likely to be more accurate (and vice versa) as there are more data points to reference.

Rental market insights

If you are sourcing and packaging buy to let deals then the rental property listings for the surrounding area can also reveal invaluable information. Rental market listings can show you asking rents and reductions (or increases). They can indicate the volume of rentals that are on the market and help you judge whether the market is under or over-supplied. They can indicate how quickly (or slowly) property lets. By comparing local prices with rents you can estimate likely possible yields and ROI for property purchases you are considering.

How to find and benefit from this hidden information more easily

There are two ways to find and make use of the invaluable information hidden in property listings: One is to sift through the information on estate agents’ websites and portals, then manually collect and calculate the information you need and compile it into lists or spreadsheets. (You’ll also need to revisit these sites regularly to see if anything has changed and to recalculate your figures.)

A better alternative is to use PaTMa Property Prospector. Simply add a property as a prospect and Property Prospector will provide all this valuable information (and much more) quickly and easily. Property Prospector can show you prices and price trends and comparables, price changes (and alert you when they change), sales history, indicate time on the market and any relisting. It can provide you with rental market insights, and instantly calculate yield and ROI. You can request a weekly property market statistics email for your chosen postcode area. This summarises a comprehensive range of listings, sales, price and rent trend information for the last week all in one easy-to-understand email.

This is all in addition to all the other essential information and analysis that Property Prospector can provide on properties you are interested in.

Here’s more information about PaTMa Property Prospector and how it can provide the invaluable information you need to find and analyse property deals – whether as a deal sourcer and packager or for your own investment projects.