German start-up publishes digital map to help you find your dream home
A new start-up has created a digital map that publishes price estimates for properties all over Germany. The company hopes that this information will help prospective house buyers get a fair price for their dream home.
The property map
The start-up Scoperty, which is based in Munich, has created an online map that generates estimates for the price of over 35 million properties across Germany. Prospective buyers usually enquire about a property before they know how much it is actually worth; this knowledge can help them make more informed offers. "So far there is hardly any information for this part of the market," said Michael Kasch, founder and managing director of Scoperty. "This is why prospective buyers and sellers often find it so difficult to find a fair price for a property."
Scoperty uses data from market research agencies and property appraisers, such as Infas 360 and Sprengnetter, including a property’s price, location and registry office data, which includes the address, estimated size of the building and premises, the date of construction and the type of property it is. The data is then used to generate estimated prices for each street and house on the map.
Are the prices accurate?
Steffen Sebastian, an economist at the University of Regensburg, is sceptical as to whether Scoperty’s service can provide accurate price estimates for the housing market. Sebastian explained that properties are heterogeneous goods, in that every house or apartment offers something different. "Take a row of houses, for example," he said. "Although they are all similar, they differ in terms of equipment and condition. All of this has an impact on the value of the property." According to Sebastian, "Even the question of who an apartment or house is rented to can play a role."
Matthias zu Eicken, the spokesperson for the Haus und Grund owner’s association, has criticised Scoperty for publishing data for properties that are not for sale. “A price tag for a property that is not for sale does not lead to more transparency, but to more misunderstandings,” he said. Eicken also highlighted the large difference in the given price ranges, with houses in the north of Hamburg ranging from 1,1 to 1,6 million euros. The IVD real estate brokers association has also voiced its doubts over Scoperty’s estimates.
Haus und Grund maintains that anyone considering selling their property should always consult an expert, as the value of a property depends on many factors. Sebastian, however, concedes that Scoperty can act as a rough guide for both buyers and sellers. “In the end, however, you have to go into the market with a realistic asking price," he said.
You can view the map on Scoperty's website.