Metro - 25 April 2013
Price per Square Foot
By Jo Eccles
When a property is sold in the UK, its size is measured in square feet (or square metres if you work in metric) and, in central London, this forms the main basis of the property’s value.
Every area of London has its own price per square foot range. The price per square foot ranges from street to street, and even between different floors within the same building, taking into account other variables such as ceiling height, the property’s location, outlook and so on, but size is the foremost factor.
When you know what price per square foot you should be paying for the property you’ve chosen, you then look at the size of the property, and multiply the price per square foot by the size of the property.
However, there can be discrepancies on the square foot shown on an estate agent’s floor plan. Whilst there are industry guidelines showing a permitted margin of error, this is not always adhered to.
A newspaper recently studied 200 floor plans, and found that more than half of them were showing larger or smaller square footage compared to other estate agents who were also marketing the same property. In some cases, the difference between two floor plans for the same property was as much as 300 square feet.
In central London, prices vary from approximately £500 – £4,000 per square foot, and an 80 square foot difference between two floor plans (which I see regularly) can equate to a difference in valuation of £40,000 upwards. We’re not talking small money!
For our own clients, we always look through floor plans from when a property was marketed previously, to check for any anomalies. This information is almost impossible to get hold of if you’re an individual buyer though, so my advice is, if you’re offering on a property which is being marketed by multiple agents, do check the size each is claiming it to be. And don’t be fooled into paying a full price per square foot on any space in the eaves or with restricted height.