Below are some of the links of relevant organisations and resources that we often reference during our due diligence process. Click on the image to visit the website directly.
Produced by the government, the portal provides a wealth of information on the planning process (including step-by-step guides to the functionality of the system, policy, legislation, greener homes, the Community Infrastructure Levy, applications, appeals). There is also a wide array of information on building regulation / control as well as useful interactive guides (covering loft conversions, extensions, conservatories, outbuildings, porches etc.) and a useful glossary of planning terms.
A useful tool that brings together commercial and domestic planning applications from all local authorities. The platform searches for applications on local authorities' websites and then calculates which ones are closest. Users can therefore keep an eye on a range of local changes including impending demolition works; the protection of wildlife corridors; proposals to close local shops and other amenities (change of use); loss of suburban green space due to new build houses in back gardens; new placements of phone masts or pylons; protection and improvement of local green spaces / parks / nature reserves, proposals for local landmark buildings that are in need of renovation amongst others. Register to receive a notification e-mail whenever a planning application is submitted (within the vicinity of the registered postcode). Search planning applications by postcode ('Full Search'), an interactive map ('Explore') and by local authority reference number ('By Reference').
Formerly known as Insight Residential, the subscription-based residential property informatics service aims to 'help UK residential property professionals stay ahead of the market'. The smart technology platform incorporates 9 million data points (50% proprietary), filtering over 170 data indicators including demographics, yields, house prices. Users can also access heat maps, compare areas, display findings by bar charts, scatter plots and line graphs as well as monitor risk through datasets on supply, demand and specific price data.
Collates a range of information from over 2 million postcodes using a variety of official government databases – including census information and Land Registry data. Users can insert the postcode, view the summary alongside specific tabs on housing (prices, types, tenure, occupancy); people (social grade, gender, age groups, relationship status, health, education, qualifications); culture (ethnic group, country of birth, passport(s) held, religion); employment (economic activity, industry); crime levels; local amenities (with a useful map) and broadband speed.
Popularly adopted across varying industries for in-depth market research, through specific targeting and intelligent customer analysis, Acorn segments postcodes and neighbourhoods into 6 Categories, 18 Groups and 62 types. By analysing demographic data, social factors, population and consumer behaviour, it provides precise information of the different types of people (see this infographic which explains how public and private data is used to describe communities). Registered users (free for personal use) can therefore access the extensive range of interesting research. Areas of interest to property investors may include: family structure; household information (size, type, tenure) and personal information (financial situation, predominant age group, income, employment types, number of children, benefit claiming levels, health, credit card usage, savings amongst others).
Market intelligence platform Hometrack has a solid track record of working with a range of businesses across the residential property industry and offers a range of (largely paid-for) valuation based services including: Dashboard (tracking 20 vital housing market metrics); Housing Intelligence (independent localised residential market analysis); Property Valuation Reports (containing local market trends, a valuation range, nearby sales / remortgages); Rental Market Report; Site Appraisal Report (local demand drivers, price trends and new build data from the National Housebuilding Council about nearby sites) and Land Appraisal Report (independently benchmarking proposed pricing across new build schemes including local surveys). Hometrack also offers a number of valuation based services including the Automated Valuation Model (used by 16 of the top 20 UK mortgage lenders); Failsafe (used by lenders to identify overvaluation and fraud); Portfolio (asset-by-asset valuations of residential property portfolios) and Valuer (a desktop appraisal system that combines comparable evidence with market analytics). Other offered services include a Strategy and Benchmarking, Portfolio Risk Analytics and a Build to Rent scheme analysis. While certainly comprehensive in terms of insight, bar the Property Valuation Reports, most of the services are likely to be outside the budgets of individual property investors and SME property companies (as well as being arguably unnecessary).
UK postcode search site that generates an Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) ranking (i.e. broad level of hardship relative to other parts of the country. Scroll through the site to see other specific ratings including income deprivation, employment, health, educational performance, barriers to services, living environment, street level crime. The portal also provides Census data as well as the nearest train stations, house prices (powered by Zoopla), property for sale / let and council contact details.
A public resource with maps, analysis and reporting of monthly crime data in England and Wales sourced by the Economic Policy Centre think tank. Users can research crime statistics by Postcode, Neighbourhood, Police Force, Officer name, Constituency name, Subdivision name, MP name, lower layer super output area (LSOA) / middle layer super output areas (MSOA) or Crime ID. Users can also see a comparatively broad breakdown of local property sales statistics.
Another site for verifying crime statistics by postcode with a crime / stop & search maps, local policing team contacts, news and events, performance and community payback.
Another neighbourhood checking portal where a postcode or area name is entered to view local open market property sales / lettings values and patterns, crime rates, schools, predominant age groups, household living arrangements, marriage statistics, an occupational breakdown, religion and other area demographics. The portal also offers an interesting 'Find where to live' page where users describe the ideal neighbourhood and recommendations are listed.
Another insightful interactive map (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) which enables users to view a range of data on geodemographics (Output Area Classifications, Classification of Workplace Zones, various indices of multiple deprivation); retail (rentals, comparisons and specific indices on convenience, leisure, health and service sectors) and a range of other metrics (including modal age of dwellings, dwellings built after 1945, median 1 year rolling house prices, top method of travel to work, top travel to work excluding car, top travel to work by road, top country of birth, top industry, population change, population density, workplace population density, central heating type, energy performance certificate data).
Currently operational across London, Birmingham and Manchester, this app uses the power of mobile and transport data to provide the best A to B directions in real time (available on iPhone and Android).
The site informs which Greater London stations are located within a preferred commute time from a central City station. The results are complemented by other information such as average house prices, crime rates, schools, deprivation levels and the cost of a season travel card.
Developed by Zoopla, users can enter a postcode and view properties for sale or rent within specific criteria, namely: maximum travel times via different methods of transport, minimum / maximum price, property type and number of bedrooms. Use the advanced search options to alter the time period when the property was added to the portal; select the order by highest price / lowest price / most recent / most reduced / most popular; add keywords; include or exclude new homes / retirement homes / shared ownership / auctions and select 'under offer' or 'sold subject to contract'.
The Indices of Deprivation explorer (via Open Data Communities), last updated in 2019, enables users to enter a postcode, place, local authority or click on a specific area of England to observe the decile of deprivation (dark red would be within the 10% most deprived parts of the UK and pale yellow would be the 10% least deprived). The 'Switch to' buttons enable users to alter the different domain settings (to view the following: Index of Multiple Deprivation; Income Deprivation Domain; Employment Deprivation Domain; Education, Skills and Training Domain; Health Deprivation and Disability Domain; Crime Domain; Barriersto Housing and Services Domain; Living Environment Deprivation Domain; the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index and the Income Deprivation Affecting Older People Index).
A service provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with free access to labour market statistics from official sources (the site contains key datasets on population, employment, unemployment, qualifications, earnings, benefit claimants and businesses). Users can search by Local Authority Profile, Local Enterprise Partnerships Profile, Combined Authority Profile, Regional and National Profile, Parliamentary Constituencies and Ward Profiles.
Extrium assisted the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Welsh Government to produce and publish strategic noise map results, noise action plan information and noise viewers for England & Wales. The interactive map show noise levels for roads and railways, locations identified for noise action planning as well as air quality management areas (AQMAs). On the Wales map, the viewer also shows industrial noise levels and the locations of quiet areas.
Find out which flood zone a location is in. You will need the postcode, place, national grid reference (NGR) or easting and northing co-ordinates for the location you want to know about. You can then confirm the location with a marker or site shape to see the likelihood of it flooding; view and download the map as well as access guidance information as a PDF file.
Simple search to find the website for your local council (by entering the postcode).
The quality of education in a local area often has a relatively strong correlation with property and rental values. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people as well as services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. The organisation carries inspections and regulatory visits, producing a score between 1 (outstanding) and 4 (inadequate). To download the most recent report users can enter either the name or address, remit and provider type.
Via the government´s School Performance Tables platform, users can also search for primary, secondary and special needs schools and colleges across England and check their performance (exam / test results, Ofsted reports and financial information are all downloadable).
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