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The hidden factors that can boost property prices (and insurance premiums)

If you're in the market for a new home, you probably already know some of the things that can bump up the price of a property. But what about the things that are out of your control? How do they bring the price up or down? And what effect will they have on your home insurance? Even if your dream home is within your price range, other factors might make the insurance premium sky-high. This guide explains some of the lesser-known factors that can affect property prices.

Location, location, location

A map of London with Monopoly hoses on it.
jeffdjevdet Flickr via Compfight cc

We've all heard of the 'Waitrose' effect — where if there's a certain supermarket within the local area you can expect a whopping £40,000 increase on property prices — but there are lots of other things that can affect costs, like:

  • Environmental factors Is the area prone to flooding? Are there any big trees around? Or have you spotted Japanese knotweed? Any of these factors could mean the property is cheaper than it should be, but they can jeopardise your chances of getting a home insurance policy. And as most mortgage providers require you to have insurance before they'll lend you money, you could be making things more difficult for yourself.
  • Crime rate Does the area have a high crime rate? If there are a lot of burglaries and street thefts in the area, it will bring down the price of the property. On the flip side, insurance costs will be higher. However, you can install burglar alarms and high quality locks to bring your premium down.
  • Catchment areas Analysis shows that families in England pay an average £44,000 more to make sure their children live within an 'outstanding' school catchment area. So, if you don't have children, it's a good idea to avoid these areas. Plus, you'll never find yourself caught up in the dreaded 3pm school run!

The name game

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there can be a snob factor when it comes to your actual address. Living in a 'lane' will add more worth to a property than if it's in a 'street' or 'road'. And paying £40 to name your house rather than just having a number could turn out to be money well spent, as the Telegraph reports you could find as much as a 40 percent rise in the price — depending on the name you choose, of course!

Public transport

According to the The Guardian, buyers in London will pay an average 10.5% more for a home that's within 500 metres of a tube station — that's a staggering £42,000 extra. And in Manchester, a nearby Metrolink stop will add £12,000 to the price.

South facing garden

Perhaps the biggest shock is that, contrary to popular belief, a sunny, south-facing garden doesn't really add any value to a property. Whilst it's often considered a key selling point to any home, recent research has shown that it will only boost the price by a mere 0.37% — that's about £800.

Home insurance

Whilst most of these factors are out of your control, you can always be prepared when it comes to insurance. It's always a good idea to get a few buildings and contents quotes before you commit to a property.

At Hastings Direct we pride ourselves on offering quality insurance at competitive prices. Our home buildings and contents policies are Defaqto 5 star rated and come with a range of great benefits as standard.

Get a quote today and see how much you could save.