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Nationwide’s house price calculator can help you to stay on top of the ever-changing and fluctuating property market. We all know it can be difficult to know what your house is worth. Whether you’re thinking of selling or letting, getting an accurate home valuation is an important first step in the process.

Now more than ever, there are countless companies offering online home valuations for free. While these house estimates aren’t as accurate or thorough as on-site valuations, they can still provide useful insight into how much your property is worth. Knowing this lets you make smart, informed financial decisions for the future. 

One such company is Nationwide. Using Nationwide’s house price calculator you can enter basic information about your property and get a clear picture of its worth. But how accurate is this calculator and exactly how does it work?

Keep reading to find out.

 

What is Nationwide?

Nationwide is a finance and insurance company most well-known for helping applicants secure a mortgage. More than a bank, Nationwide strives to create a society, or mutual, that is owned by its members. Established in 1884, Nationwide is one of the oldest and most well-established financial institutions in the UK. 

Nationwide also has a long history of recording and analyzing housing market trends, prices, and data to help clients buy their dream homes. Since 1952, Nationwide has been collecting and documenting housing data to help show pricing trends and fluctuations. This information is then used to generate property estimates like those produced by the website’s calculator.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the information Nationwide has published to date:

  • 1952 – annual publication of house price data
  • 1974 – Quarterly data published for the first time
  • 1989 – New house price methodology is developed
  • 1993 – Further improvements were made to the house pricing system following the 1991 data census publication

Every quarter, Nationwide also publishes an updated, detailed breakdown of current house prices. These prices include the UK and 13 regional estimates based on buyer profiles including first-time buyers and former owner-occupiers. Nationwide also produces UK figures for 4 different types of properties – detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses and apartments/flats, and property age. 

 

What is a House Price Estimate?

As the name suggests, a house price estimate gives homeowners a general idea of how much their property is worth. This is useful information if you plan to sell or let your property. Most valuation tools and calculators (like Nationwide’s house price calculator) use basic information about your house plus current trends and recent sales to estimate how much your property is worth or could potentially sell for in the current market. 

Several factors are taken into account when estimating a home’s worth including the size, location, the year it was built, and any recent upgrades or renovations.

How Do House Price Estimates Normally Work?

Most home valuations are given by professional appraisers or estate agents. Agents often offer free online or in-person valuations in hopes of securing the listing. Although you don’t have to pay upfront for a house estimate, you may find yourself pestered by numerous follow-up emails, phone calls, or text messages pressuring you to commit to a certain agent or agency. 

When you use an estate agent for your house price estimate, you should also be wary of unrealistically high valuations. Agents that are paid a percentage of the final sale often overprice or overvalue properties in the hopes of landing you as their client and, ultimately, securing the highest possible commission. That’s not to say that ALL estate agents have their own best interest in mind, but if you receive a home valuation from an agent that seems suspiciously high, this could be why.

Other agents may initially overestimate the value of your home to get you to sign a contract with them only to reassess the property at a later date, bringing down the listing price to something more reasonable. At this point, you’ve already agreed to list your property with them and in most cases, it’s too late to back out without incurring certain fees.

On the flip side, fixed fee estate agents like Purplebricks (just as an example!) may want to sell your property as quickly as possible to recoup their fees. Lowering your house value could help them achieve this.

 

A Few Things You Should Know About the Nationwide House Price Calculator

One of the best ways to avoid persistent estate agents looking to increase the price of your property is to use an online resource like Nationwide’s house price calculator. This tool is similar to other online valuations and calculators on popular sites like Zoopla and Rightmove.

The biggest difference between Nationwide’s house price calculator and its competitors is that it only asks for two key pieces of information – the last known valuation of the property and the date it was performed. Using this data, Nationwide’s house estimate calculator generates an up-to-date estimate of what your property is worth right now.

One thing that Nationwide wants people to know is that these figures are just a guide and may not be accurate. These amounts are not meant for use on a mortgage application or other financial applications or paperwork. Because of this, you can’t place TOO much importance or faith in the figures generated by this particular tool. 

The estimated house prices generated by this calculator may also vary based on the season. Homes are worth more during certain times of the year than others. For example, during the warmer spring and summer months there are more buyers on the market. Nationwide adjusts its monthly index to try and counteract these inconsistencies. Nationwide’s goal is to adjust their results every month to better reflect overall trends in the housing market.

Some people use Nationwide’s tool simply out of curiosity or to see how much their home has appreciated or depreciated since the last valuation. It can also give you a better idea of what your house may be worth in the future based on market trends. Nationwide’s goal is to help you decide whether or not now is a good time to sell or if you should wait for a shift in the property market. It also gives you a ballpark figure to work with before contacting or committing to an estate agent.

How Exactly Does the Nationwide House Price Calculator Work?

Using the two pieces of information mentioned above (the last known valuation of your property and the date it was performed), the Nationwide house price calculator scans the current market including listing prices and sales to determine how much your home is worth now. The calculator will also ask you where the property is located using the region or postal code. You can also choose the month and year that you’d like your house value to be compared to. 

One thing you should know is that Nationwide’s prices are “mix-adjusted”. Mix adjustment works by dividing the property market into different cells. Each cell contains properties with similar characteristics in similar locations. House prices are then allocated over different cells to determine the average value of each cell. The mean values of each cell are then weighted and calculated to determine the mix-adjusted price.

This is done to prevent distortion based on fluctuating values of each cell and give homeowners a more accurate idea of what homes like theirs, with the same cells or characteristics, are currently worth. It also prevents inaccurate estimates due to any changes in the types of properties that are sold each month.

When producing house estimates, Nationwide focuses on underlying trends in property values by creating a profile for a “typical UK house” and tracking its value over time. One unique feature about Nationwide is that the house price data it uses dates back to 1952, longer than any other online estimation tool.

One downside to Nationwide’s house price calculator is that you need to know if your property has ever been valued, what the figure was, and when it occurred. Without this information, the calculator can’t determine how much your property is currently worth. While there are plenty of other online home valuation tools available that don’t require this information, if you want to see how the value of your property is trending, this is the best tool.

 

How Accurate is Nationwide’s House Price Calculator?

If you’re using Nationwide’s house price calculator for more than just curiosity, you probably want to know if the figure is accurate. As mentioned above, Nationwide’s house price calculator generates a ballpark figure of your home’s worth and shouldn’t be your only source of information when planning your future. 

Another reason that Nationwide’s calculator isn’t 100% accurate is that it only takes into account certain information. Numerous factors impact the home’s value (more on this below). One major factor that Nationwide doesn’t consider is minor differences between similar properties located in the same area. For example, the quality of paint, materials, appliances, fittings, or decorative upgrades. All of these can add value to a home but aren’t something that this calculator is capable of estimating. 

The website itself recommends that homeowners contact a local estate agent or surveyor for a more accurate figure. In an effort to provide transparency, Nationwide does provide a PDF file outlining the methodology they use to calculate home values using their online calculator.

When looking for accuracy, you may wish to get multiple sources of data, for instance Zoopla’s valuation tool

 

How Does Nationwide Calculate the Price of a Typical House

Based on Nationwide’s methodology, the purchase price of your home is based on several characteristics plus historical data and market trends. Physical properties taken into account include the size of the property, the number of bedrooms, and the type of neighborhood it’s located in.

Nationwide uses data from approved mortgages paired with a statistical process called hedonic regression to connect observed combinations of these property characteristics with purchase prices. Using this information, Nationwide can estimate how much your house is worth based on its characteristics and the average cost of each “cell” (mentioned above). Nationwide also utilizes its “typical UK house” profile when tracking home values in the local area. 

In addition to this “typical UK house” model, Nationwide’s house price calculator also considers other property features and factors. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Location in the UK or outside the country
  • The age of the property (new or not)
  • The property design
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Type of neighborhood (i.e. retirement community, council area)

How to Use Nationwide’s House Price Calculator to Your Advantage

When trying to determine the value of your property, you need to collect data and information from various sources. The more information you have, the more accurate the listing price will be, which means the more likely you’ll be to get your asking price.

If you know the most recent valuation amount of your property and when it was done, you can use Nationwide’s house price calculator as one resource. You should also consider free online valuations from a reliable local estate agent. Just keep in mind that this could lead to estate agents trying to contact you to sign an agreement. 

When you are ready to commit to an estate agent, be sure to use Rentround’s free comparison tool to find the best agent for your needs and budget.

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