A guide to property programmes on television

Over the last decade as property investment has become more and more popular around the world we have seen the number of UK property-based television programmes mushroom to fulfil an ever-growing demand. Even now as the UK property market continues to slide there are still many people interested in television programmes based upon property purchases and investigations, although viewing figures have fallen back of late.

There are many many programs to choose from and we hereby list a summary of the main property programmes currently on air in the UK:-

To Buy Or Not To Buy

Currently aired on:- BBC One

To Buy Or Not To Buy is one of the leading property TV programmes in the UK and similar in format to the likes of Location, Location, Location. In essence the program allows prospective buyers to view three homes, two of which are based upon their ideals and suggestions, with the third a wild card which the experts feel would still fulfil their requirements.

While the properties in question change on a week to week basis the format is pretty similar in that couples are shown around the three properties and allowed to discuss the pros and cons with the experts. After deciding which property they are interested in they are then able to “try before they buy” the property, i.e. take a closer look, after which they then asked if they want to make a serious bid for the property.

The presenters of the show are currently Kristian Digby, Ed Hall, Jenny Powell and Ian Blanford although they have had such celebrities as Sid Owen and Melinda Messenger to name but a few on the show.

Location, Location, Location

Currently aired on:- Channel 4

First aired back in 2001 this is perhaps the epitome of the property TV programme market and has attracted a cult following. The main purpose of the program is to allow two experts to find the perfect home for two sets of potential buyers each week. Originally the format had only included one set of potential purchases each week but this was changed in 2007 in order to accommodate two sets of potential buyers with very different views on their perfect home. This allowed the programme makers to introduce more varied properties, more varied arguments and bring in more and more viewers.

Quote from PropertyForum.com : “As interest in buy, selling, renting and developing property around the world continues to grow we have seen a massive increase in the number of property TV shows.”

The programme has been blamed for creating something of a property bubble in the UK with many arguing that it simplifies the situation and the process thereby attracting more people to various niche areas of the property market, hence the argument about a property bubble.

The show is produced by RDF media group and presented by Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer.

Escape To The Country

Currently aired on:- BBC1 and BBC2

Escape To The Country is yet another properly reality program which has proved very popular in the UK. Originally when the show started in 2002 the purpose was to help a person/family relocate from their current home to a more rural setting. The experts on the show are given the task of finding four possible properties for the “contestants” to view via a laptop at which point they were given the opportunity to choose two they can actually visit.

There is also a mystery element in that the experts are allowed to introduce a home of their choice for the “contestants” to consider bearing in mind there specific interests and requirements. However from series six onwards the format was changed lately in that the potential buyers were able to visit all four properties as viewers had expressed an interest in seeing more properties rather than computer images.

The show has proved very successful and the BBC actually film two versions, a shorter version for BBC2 and a longer version for BBC1. The show is currently presented by Jules Hudson, Alistair Appleton and Denise Nurse.

While the above three shows are probably amongst the better-known in the UK there are also a number of property related shows on Sky and other media channels which include:-

Homes Under The Hammer

Currently aired on:- UKTV Style

This programme is one of the new style property shows which concentrates upon the growing number of property auctions throughout the UK. There are a number of sectors to the show including an explanation of the actual process, working out a budget, property viewing checklist and many more useful tips and advice for those looking at the potential minefield which is property auctions.

This programme has grown in popularity of late due to the quality of advice offered as well as the potential which many people are starting to realise in relation to property auctions. However, you really do need to be aware of the risks, which is where this show comes in.

Fantasy Homes By The Sea

Currently aired on:- UKTV Style

This is a very interesting show which sees presenter Catherine Gee assisting 10 couples who are looking for the perfect property retreat by the seaside. The quest to find that perfect home has taken the presenter all around the world and taken in some of the most beautiful coastlines available and some of the more practical seaside retreats for those who maybe do not wish to move overseas.

The potential buyers come with their own budget which could be anything from a couple of hundred thousand pounds to in excess of £1 million. There are some very interesting “dream properties” and the presenter certainly has her work cut out to try and fulfil all of these dreams.

Property TV programmes

While the popularity of property TV programmes had been increasing prior to the ongoing property recession, there is still a massive market for these programs and we are seeing more and more copycats productions. On the plus side they do offer potential property buyers expert advice, professional input and open doors which would often remain closed to the everyday home buyer.

However on the downside many experts feel that shows such as Location, Location, Location actually helped to create something of a property bubble in the UK which has not benefited everyone. Property programs do have their place although any potential property purchaser watching the shows would still need to do their own homework.

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