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British home values down over half a trillion pounds in '08

House prices have been hit hard this year but still no bottom in sight

18th Dec 2008

British homeowners will collectively lose over half a trillion pounds (591 billion) in property value by the end of 2008, according to analysis released today.

Zoopla.co.uk, the UK's leading house prices website, has calculated that the total value of all homes in Britain now stands at less than £5.5 trillion, having peaked at over £6.2 trillion in August 2007.

Average home values since the start of the year have fallen by £22,083 (a drop of 9.72 per cent), and as a result over 2.1 million homeowners in Britain are now 'underwater', having paid more for their properties than they are currently worth.

Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla.co.uk commented: "2008 will certainly be remembered as the year that marked the acceleration of the housing market correction and the year will end with a sixth consecutive quarter of declining house prices. With further job losses predicted, increased repossessions and the continued decline in transaction volumes, the bottom does not appear to have been reached yet."

Hertfordshire was named as the 'hardest hit' county with home values dropping an average of £31,280 since January and the worst performing area in terms of house prices in 2008 was revealed as Birkenhead in Cheshire, where homes have lost an average 14.87 per cent of their value throughout the year.

Hardest Hit Counties of 2008

  Avg. value loss since Jan 08 Zed-Index* as at Dec 08
Hertfordshire -£31,280 £301,330
Essex -£29,377 232,434
Oxfordshire -£27,551 293,214
Berkshire -£27,058 £97,962

* The Zed-Index is the current average Zoopla.co.uk estimate of home values

Worst-Performing Areas of 2008

  Avg. change since Jan 08 Zed-Index* as at Dec 08
Birkenhead, Cheshire -14.87% £97,848
Crowborough, Sussex -14.35% £304,511
Barking, Essex -14.15% £196,311
Ringwood, Hampshire -13.98% £354,741
Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk -13.91% £219,907

* The Zed-Index is the current average Zoopla.co.uk estimate of home values

"For those who wish to keep track of their most valuable asset - or check out the value of anyone else's - Zoopla.co.uk is the ultimate tool, providing free instant value estimates on any UK home, along with local information and market trends" Chesterman added.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to Editor

Zoopla.co.uk Awards

  • Winner: 'UK's Most Promising Internet Company 2008' (First Tuesday)
  • Winner: 'Best Property Website - Gold Award' (Web User Magazine)
  • Winner: 'Best Real Estate site 2008' (Websiteoftheyear.co.uk)

What is Zoopla

Zoopla is a revolutionary online publishing service and community website providing information and tools to give users an advantage in the UK residential property market. Our aim is to create a transparent marketplace and we believe that information should be free and easily accessible to everyone.

How did it start? In early 2007, following the success of bringing DVD rental to the internet with LOVEFiLM.com, Zoopla founders Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain realised that the internet had yet to deliver meaningful change to the UK property market. It became clear that consumers lacked essential tools and information to help them understand home values, view similar properties, learn about past transactions...

...and then we thought:

  • Why not offer users a tool to get access to FREE, instant value estimates on their homes or anyone else's?
  • Why not let buyers make offers on ANY home, instead of just the 4 per cent of homes currently on the market 'for sale'?
  • Why not let owners find out if there is any market interest in their homes without having to list them 'for sale'?
  • Why not let agents and sellers market their 'for sale' listings FREE by providing them with easy-to-use tools?
  • Why not let anyone ask/answer questions and share their knowledge about any homes or neighbourhoods?
  • Why not put current value estimates, sold prices, homes for sale and local information all together in one place?

So, we have started by providing FREE value estimates and sold prices on homes, allowing sellers and agents to list homes for sale FREE, and letting all users edit information and upload photos. We have also launched some unique features, like TemptMe™ and AskMe™ which allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else.

By making TemptMe™ offers, buyers can try to entice owners to consider selling. Owners also benefit from this unique feature by being able to see what level of interest there is in their home without actually having to list it for sale. The AskMe™ community feature allows anyone to find out more about any home or neighbourhood that they are interested in by posting questions for those in the know to answer.

Zoopla value estimates are calculated using a proprietary algorithm (secret formula) that we have developed by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK. The algorithm works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in given geographic areas. Our estimates are constantly refined by our team of analysts, using the most recent data available and a variety of statistical methodologies, in order to provide the most current information on any home.

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company, backed by leading international venture capital firm Atlas Venture.

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