Property data: resources for buy-to-let investors
Investors spend hours comparing potential purchases in search of the holy grail: a high-yield rental property in an area with consistently strong renter demand and bags of potential for capital growth. However, as with all forms of investment, selecting a new property for your portfolio is never a risk-free venture. Though real estate is typically less prone to dramatic short-term changes in value than stocks and shares, the property market can still be unpredictable, and negative cash flow remains a very real risk if you invest in the wrong location and struggle with high vacancy rates and low returns.
Fortunately, landlords have more tools than ever at their disposal to help them make sound investments, whether investing for the first time or looking to add assets to an existing portfolio. There are plenty of property data resources available online to help investors mitigate risk by making informed, evidence-based purchasing decisions.
In the article below, we have put together a handy guide to some of the best property data resources available for investors. Using these platforms, you can review comparable properties, identify and understand market trends, assess local demand, get comprehensive statistics on a local neighbourhood and pull all of that information into a report based on reliable data.
PropertyData offers users a suite of research tools that enable property investors to make better decisions based on data and sophisticated analytics. The breadth and depth of data available to users is remarkable, as the platform combines live data from their proprietary listings analysis tool with more than 20 additional sources, include the Land Registry, the Office for National Statistics, Ordnance Survey, Planning Pipe, The Environmental Agency, Ofcom, Ofsted and many more.
PropertyData sources, cleans, and updates large datasets so that you don’t have to. Instead, you can focus on detailed analytics across a specific local area or key investment statistics for all UK postcode districts including:
- Property prices (segmented by £/sqft or number of bedrooms).
- Transactions per month and turnover rate.
- Rents and yields for both long let and HMO properties (segmented by number of bedrooms).
- Planning pipelines.
- Capital growth.
- Physical stock characteristics.
The platform also provides a range of due diligence tools to help you appraise an investment, including automated valuations and comparable property reporting.
- In-depth local area analysis.
- Comprehensive postcode investment statistics.
- A browser extension adding live local property market data onto portal listings.
- Property sourcing lists curated by algorithm (e.g unmodernised properties, quick sale properties, chain free etc.).
- High resolution plot maps.
- Automated valuation tool.
- Comparable property reporting.
- A variety of cost calculators including stamp duty, rebuild cost, rental yields, and cash flow.
- A finance finder comparing property financing options for individual investors and limited companies.
PropertyData offers three plans suitable for users at every stage of their property investment journey, with the option to pay on a rolling monthly basis or on an annual contract for a slight discount:
- Basic plan - £14/monthly or £154 annually. Suitable for occasional use by new property investors.
- Pro plan - £22/monthly or £242 annually. The best plan for investors looking to grow their portfolio, who require regular use of the platform.
- Max plan - £46/monthly or £506 annually. Ideal for established professional investors and developers.
Each plan includes access to the same basic features, but the Pro and Max plans include extra credits (which are used in exchange for each data search you make), a greater number of saved searches for local areas and building plots, and access to downloadable PDF reports and postcode data.
Similar to PropertyData, Mouseprice processes large sets of housing data to give users the key investment insights they’re looking for ahead of buying, selling, or renting a property. Though Mouseprice relies on a narrower range of sources to provide its data, it offers a free plan that allows investors access to some of its core analytics without a paid subscription, including:
- Average sales price over a period of up to two years (and segmented by property type).
- Number of transactions.
- Average rental price and number of properties listed.
- Local schools.
- Local transport infrastructure.
Mouseprice also offers a free valuation tool for your individual property, which offers you an instant estimated sales price based on your input criteria (address, postcode, number of bedrooms, square feet etc.). The free valuation tool is particularly handy for developers, as it allows you to add details of improvements made to the property since purchase and share them with prospective buyers, insurers etc.
Mouseprice Pro, their paid service, offers additional functions for property investors including heat maps, comparables reporting, their unique fly-by property search, and full property appraisals.
- Local market statistics.
- Automated valuation tools.
- Comparable property reporting.
- Fly-by property search - a unique tool allowing users to access property data with building outlines overlaid onto aerial imagery.
- Individual property search, including year built, number of bedrooms, property type and more for any home in the UK.
- Full property appraisal reports, including a current value estimation, data on comparable property sales, and comprehensive local market statistics. Users can create bespoke reports with their own selected comparables and metrics.
- Heat maps illustrating a range of useful metrics.
All users have a limited number of searches per month. The Mouseprice Pro plan, with unlimited queries and access to the platform’s full range of tools costs £22.99/monthly, and can be cancelled at any time without incurring costs.
ZoomLocal amasses and analyses thousands of data points to produce detailed 50-page local neighbourhood reports for postcodes across the UK. ZoomLocal provides an unbiased and comprehensive report tailored to your neighbourhood of interest and captures the crucial information investors will struggle to find with an estate agent or in a conveyancing report.
With data aggregated from over 80 different sources (including proprietary databases), their postcode reports include both a high level overview of the relevant investment statistics as well as more unique insights, for example whether there’s anything nearby (such as a smelly waste processing facility or noisy factory) that might be a nuisance to residents. Reports also include a wealth of information on local amenities, allowing you to make an informed assessment of a postcode’s desirability with local renters.
ZoomLocal reports contain detailed data on all of the following:
- Crime rates
- Leisure & Tourism.
- Other information such as overseas visitor guides, local radio stations, local maps and more.
There are statistics for over 65 different metrics in total - see the full list here.
Reports are available with prices starting from £17.
Like both PropertyData and Mouseprice, StreetCheck gathers and filters large datasets (such as the Census, the Land Registry, NHS choices and other open source archives) to extract the key statistics of interest to those looking to purchase property.
While the insights available on StreetCheck aren’t as detailed as what you can access on either of the aforementioned platforms, StreetCheck is completely free to use and still handy if you’re looking for a high-level summary of an area’s core characteristics.
StreetCheck is an excellent complementary resource to use together with the paid platforms above if you don’t want to commit to one of the more expensive paid plans. Investors can use StreetCheck for preliminary research to create a shortlist of potential investment targets before using their limited premium credits to get more comprehensive data on the locations from one of the paid services.
- A general area summary for more than 2 million UK postcodes.
- Key statistics on housing, demographics, culture, employment, and crime.
StreetCheck is free to use.
London Infrastructure Map
For investors in the capital, this free-to-use tool designed for utility companies, borough councils, and developers can also generate useful insights ahead of any property purchasing decisions.
The interactive map allows users to explore current and future development projects across the capital, which can be filtered according to location, project value, funding status, and sector. Of particular interest to investors is the function that allows you to add a ‘context layer’ to the map that projects the impact projects will have on job and population growth.
For example, you can view all large retail developments in the pipeline across the city alongside new transport links, then view how much the population is likely to grow in surrounding areas. The data is useful for making informed predictions about which neighbourhoods are likely to see capital growth and increasing rental yields with its local housing stock.
Investors can use the map to understand the development and infrastructure planned for a defined area of interest. Users can zero in on development and infrastructure projects in the following sectors:
- Transport (e.g new Crossrail stations).
- Commercial and retail.
- Civic and public.
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Prices start from just £50+VAT/mo for tenant-find and £60+VAT/mo for management. Alternatively, you can pay a one-off upfront fee of £1,200+VAT for our tenant-find service.
If you would like to speak with us about your property needs, contact us via our website to find out how we can help. If you're ready to get started, book your free valuation here.Book valuation
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