Is there any point at all in a national house price index?

The average ‘mix-adjusted’ house price in England during September was £285,000 in England, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In Wales it was £172,00, in Northern Ireland £143,000, and in Scotland £197,000.

Taking London and the south-east out of the equation, the average UK ‘mix-adjusted’ house price was £208,000 –still considerably higher than the Land Registry’s figure for the same month of £177,299 for England and Wales.

It is this kind of nonsense which could be dispensed with if there were just one definitive house price index, and the Land Registry and ONS are currently consulting on this until December 12.

The consultation is here

On the other hand, is there really a case for any kind of national house price index?

It seems to Eye that they do more harm than good, because people believe what they read, and what they have reading for most of this year is that there is a house price boom, largely because national property writers rarely look beyond London.

In fact, there is no such thing as a house price conformity across the country, and prices differ not just from town to town, but street to street, and indeed from one side of the street to the other. Not to mention from house to house.

Drop the whole thing? And instead, rely on an estate agent’s intensely local knowledge of the micro-events relating to price, demand, supply in your own area?

What do you think?

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2 Comments

  1. Chri Wood

    But local knowledge is a waste of time and data is king, just ask Mr Quirk of eMoov…

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  2. CLG

    I believe there is a need for a House Price Index as it is a good indicator of how the market is doing in general.

    Though I believe there should only be on HPI, it should be based on actual selling price and split out based on regions.

    Nothing beats an Agents knowledge but it never hurts to have data to back up your views.

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