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Take another look at prices

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: October 03, 2012

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Do you remember the battle to keep imperial measurements such as the foot, pound and inch, rather than use Europe's metre, kilogramme and centimetre?

Then you may also remember that imperial measurements eventually lost out to metric as even the most reluctant street traders moved over to the Euro way.

But one metric habit we haven't adopted so easily is measuring our homes by their floor size, rather than how many bedrooms they have.

Go house-hunting in France, for example, and it's often difficult to find out how many bedrooms a house offers; local agents look at you in Gallic wonder when asked.

But what's the problem? That's just the way our strange Euro friends do it, right? Well, no.

Using the number of bedrooms as the main measure of a property's price is the most inaccurate way to work out its value for money, many people believe.

For example, the average price per square metre in England for a detached house is £25 while a flat is double that, £51 a square metre, research by Zoopla.co.uk shows.

This shows how apartments are relatively poor value for money because although they are usually smaller than houses, they're twice the price per square metre.

So, if in a town the average price per square metre is £1,870 and there are £2 million homes for sale there, one of which is for sale at £3,080 per square metre while the other is £1,990, which would you say offers the best value for money?

Looking at the bigger picture London, you may be unsurprised to hear, still top the national list. House prices for detached houses there are currently running at £5,562 a square metres followed by Windsor and Maidenhead at £3,916, and Surrey at £3,862.

Spare a thought for anyone buying a home in central London, though, where homes are currently selling for £7,876 a square metre on average.

So will we ever adopt this more accurate way of working out a property's value?

Not without pressure to do so, it would be fair to say, but new rules that force those selling to publish more information about properties for sale may soon change that.

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