PropertyCheck, a unique new valuation and local information service from Experian, launches this week, helping to finally put an end to Britons’ house-hunting headaches.

The new website (www.propertycheck.co.uk) provides in-depth, accurate reports on properties in the UK, which include not only details on the building itself, but insights into the neighbourhood and surrounding areas, its amenities and the people who live there. It is the first site to offer buyers such a level of detail in a single, interactive report.

Today’s launch comes as research from PropertyCheck reveals that one in every five homeowners (22 per cent) regrets buying their current property and wishes they had spent longer researching it before completing.

Rather than the neighbours, postcode or standard of schools, it appears that crime is the number one concern when it comes to buying a home. 44 per cent of potential home buyers rank crime rates as the most important external factor when purchasing a property – ahead of what the neighbours are like (40 per cent), local transport links (36 per cent) or how close it is to family (29 per cent).

British reserve seems to be playing a part in this reluctance to do their house-buying homework. Despite the emotional and financial investment in buying a property, one in 10 buyers admits to feeling uncomfortable about asking for more than two viewings. In fact, UK house hunters spend less than half an hour (26.8 minutes) viewing a property before making an offer, with women (24.5 minutes) more likely to act on impulse – or intuition – than men (29.4 minutes).

PropertyCheck is the most authoritative site of its kind. It combines unique information from Experian, endorsed by experts including ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and DBRS, and harnesses data from Rightmove, the UK’s leading valuation product.

Aimed at buyers, sellers, renters, landlords and just the plain curious, PropertyCheck’s reports cover Property, People and Places: property valuations, crime figures, neighbourhood affluence, restaurants, entertainment and energy use, combined into one convenient document for £29.99.

Peter Turner, Managing Director of Experian Interactive, UK&I said:
“Emotionally as well as financially, buying a home is the biggest single investment most of us will make. That’s why it’s important to get it right.

“We’re urging potential house buyers to do their homework before they buy a home. Although you can’t test drive potential new homes, you can research the property and the surrounding area – exploring the neighbourhood, timing transport links and visiting the local amenities. While you would still need an official survey of any new home, sites like PropertyCheck can help you to find out in minutes any nasty hidden surprises – potentially saving money and years of regret. A new home should be a dream come true and not a nightmare.”

With plans underway to overhaul planning regulations, the PropertyCheck research reveals that homebuyers are more concerned with parks and green spaces (27 per cent) than with schools and catchment areas (18 per cent).

It also highlights the importance of family ties, with being close to relatives (29 per cent) far more important than being near our friends (nine per cent).

And it is good news for the British pub, as it seems that Brits are more bothered about having a good local pub (six per cent) than restaurants or takeaways (two per cent and one per cent, respectively).

Key factors governing choosing a home:

  1. Crime levels (44%)
  2. The neighbours (39%)
  3. Local transport links (36%)
  4. Proximity to family (29%)
  5. Greenery / local park (27%)
  6. Resale potential (22%)
  7. Shops (20%)
  8. Local schools (18%)
  9. Supermarkets (10%)
  10. Proximity to friends (9%)
  11. Postcode (7%)
  12. Good pubs (6%)
  13. Restaurants (2%)
  14. Neighbourhood Watch (2%)
  15. Takeaways (1%)

Visit www.propertycheck.co.uk for further advice.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Resonate PR:
Joseph Bradfield – 020 7861 3931 / jbradfield@resonate.uk.com
Michael Sheen – 020 7861 3013/ msheen@resonate.uk.com

Notes to editors

Research was conducted online among 2,000 UK homeowners by Opinion Matters in July 2011. Results are weighted to be representative of the UK population.

About PropertyCheck

PropertyCheck is a new service from Experian using its proprietary and publically available data to create detailed reports into the true value of most properties in the UK. Reports go beyond the price of the property itself and give invaluable insights into the people and places of the surrounding area. No other site offers users the same depth of detail, nor the confidence that comes from such authoritative and independent sources.

For a fee of just £29.99, its interactive reports cover Property, People and Places: the value of a property and details about the building itself, including council tax, energy consumption and carbon footprint; what the people who make up the local neighbourhood are like, including age, income, family size and lifestyle; and a wealth of information about the surrounding area, including schools, shops, services and key concerns like crime rates.

With CreditExpert established as the UK’s most trusted credit monitoring service, the Experian brand has come to be known as a place where people will feel safe coming to us for information. CreditExpert is all about giving customers the opportunity to make the right decisions about their finances. By putting all the data users need at their fingertips, PropertyCheck allows buyers, sellers, renters and landlords to make genuinely informed decisions – and quickly.

By combining our own market-leading Mosaic data with RightMove, the UK’s leading property valuation service, and local area mortgage brokers and agents, we are able to provide a unique new service to consumers – from a tried, tested and trusted brand.

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit www.experianplc.com