Online price checks for homeowners

Screengrab of My Property Tracker.
Screengrab of My Property Tracker. PHOTO: SRX PROPERTY

A new online service aims to help homeowners keep track of changes in the value, rent and rental yield of their homes. The My Property Tracker will also notify subscribers when listings and transactions occur in their neighbourhood.

The free service boosts transparency for homeowners, said Mr Sam Baker, chief executive of SRX Property, which developed the service.

Each user receives a personalised, secure and unique webpage with a URL tied to his or her home's postal code and a mobile-phone number.

One section provides home figures and facts, including the "x-value" of the sale and rent of a home. The X-value service, which was introduced in March last year, is a computer-generated appraisal of a home's market value. The service draws on transaction data from about 30 sources, including government agencies and major property agencies such as PropNex, ERA, CBRE, DTZ and Huttons, to derive the figure.

"The computer adjusts comparables (of sale transaction prices of similar properties) ... so apples are compared to apples. It is a more consistent process than if the valuation process was done by humans," said Mr Andrew Chee, the head of valuations at SRX Property.

For example, not all valuers would be aware of location characteristics. In the Orchard area, price per sq ft is often higher for larger units due to limited supply, noted Mr Jeremy Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer at SRX Property. Other factors taken into consideration in computing the x-value include floor level and age.

The company gets 80,000 to 100,000 x-value requests on its site monthly, Mr Baker said.

Another section in the tracker comprises neighbourhood listings, aggregated from STProperty, STClassifieds and SRX's database. These are personalised and tied to a user's home location and ranked according to ad quality.

Transactions in the neighbourhood are provided as well. In many cases, subscribers will be able to compare the transacted price with the original listing price.


Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly attributed the comment "in the Orchard area, price per sq ft is often higher for larger units due to limited supply" to Mr Andrew Chee, head of valuations at SRX Property. It should be attributed to Mr Jeremy Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer at SRX Property. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2015, with the headline 'Online price checks for homeowners'. Print Edition | Subscribe