New single house price index for whole of UK planned

Taylor Scott International News

Official house price statistics are due for a revamp in the UK where there are currently a number of different indices. This follows are consultation launched last year by the organisations responsible for publishing house price data in the UK; the Land Registry, Land and Property Services, Northern Ireland and the Office for National Statistics Registers of Scotland It looked at a proposed methodology for a single definitive House Price Index (HPI), and gathered views on whether it would meet requirements. It also asked interested parties how removing the indices currently published by Land Registry and the Office of National Statistics would them. The majority of respondents welcomed the proposal for a single official house price index and the clarity this would bring to the use of house price statistics. They also backed the continued publication of supplementary analysis and data alongside the House Price Index, for example, the Land Registry Price Paid Dataset, but also welcomed extra detail if available. Respondents also want a better explanation of the methods used to produce the House Price Index and consistent back data using any new methodology as far back as possible. While the majority thought the proposed methodology was sensible, there were areas that needed further analysis. They were happy with how long the proposed new index would take to publish, accepting the additional time required to process the new index and the greater accuracy and coverage it would provide. But they wanted further clarity on how the new index will be published due to concerns about the same data being published across a number of different websites. As a result a business case has been drawn up recommending the implementation of the proposed new single official house price index and there will be further work to ensure a full and consistent back series for the proposed new index that can be published back to 1969. Officials will also investigate using GOV.UK as the central publication point for the new monthly index publish a final version of the methodology by early summer 2015 if the new index is approved. Taylor Scott International

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