Property Reports 101: What is “Street Sales History Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 19, 2010

Houses on a streetYou will find this report available at different providers’ websites under the names of “Street Sales History Report”, “Street History Report” or just “Street Report” – but they all are essentially the same.

What’s inside?

Property-specific information

For all the sold houses on that particular street you will get the following:
– Property address (just a street name, not even a house number in Victoria)
– Type of the house / land (detached, semi-detached, hobby farm, etc.)
– Sale price
– Sale date (just month and year for Victoria, not the full date).
– Estimated area (size of land).

This section will contain all the recorded sales of houses in this particular street in the last 10 – 15 years. Some providers will include information about the number of bedrooms / bathrooms / parking spaces in each sold house, others won’t. In some reports you will find whether the houses were sold by auction / private sale.

Street-specific information

– Average price of sold properties
– Median price of sold properties
– Highest price (best house?)
– Lowest price (worst house?)

What can I do with this information?

If you are a home buyer and already have your heart set on one particular street, if you are determined to buy a house just there and nowhere else, then you need to know what’s going on in your neighborhood.

Even though you’re buying the property for yourself and not as an investment – you don’t need a house that is a bad investment. You can have both advantages: buy a house that you like and have a decent capital growth in the long term.

Study how prices in this street changed over the years. Compare apples to apples – group similar houses together by the number of bedrooms / bathrooms. If you see some extreme prices (very high or very low compared to the rest) – throw them away, don’t look at them, just to be on the safe side. This little exercise will show you the capital growth that you can expect from your future home.

See where “your house” fits in – judging by the asking price, are you buying the best house or the worst house on the street? If the asking price exceeds most of the sale prices on this street, ask yourself why, and whether it’s worth it, or this is just the greed of the vendors showing. There could be justification for the high price – for example if there’s a park right across the road, or if your house was recently renovated, is sparkling and spotless – as opposed to other houses that are in “original” (read “ancient”) condition.

If you are a home seller – then this report should guide you in setting your expectations. See what your neighbors sold for, compare your house to similar properties in your street, take into account improvements that you’ve made (if any) and then compare the asking price or appraisal suggested by your estate agent to reality.

You will be killing two birds with one stone – the first bird is understanding what your house is worth now, and the second bird is understanding what your estate agent’s word is worth. And while there might not be much you can do about your house, estate agents are plenty to choose from 🙂

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