Single house price index recommended

This is the recommendation of a review into official house price indices by the National Statistician commissioned in the summer after concerns that people found the large numbers of housing statistics confusing.

The report suggests a single index should be accompanied by a regular official statistics report, presenting and analysing the official house price measures and their relationship to non-official sources and wider housing market indicators.

Halifax, Nationwide, LSL and Acadametrics, Rightmove and Hometrack all produce independent house price indices based on their own data and are therefore outside the jurisdiction of the official review.

But both DCLG and the Land Registry, which produce official stats, have been asked to investigate ways of producing a definitive set of official house price statistics in future.

They have also been asked to work together on the feasibility of producing a joint statistical report containing the headline house price index and other house price indicators.

National Statistician, Jil Matheson, said: “There is a great deal of interest in and importance placed on changes in the value of our houses by all sections of society. I want to be sure that official statistics producers are providing the right statistics on house prices to support decision making by us all.

“I am grateful to the current official producers of house price statistics for their support in carrying out this review and their willingness to ensure official statistics on house prices meet the needs of the users of the statistics as closely as possible. I would also like to thank all the users of house price statistics who contributed to helping me better understand their requirement from official house price statistics.”

During the review, the National Statistician gathered views from a wide range of users including central and local government, financial institutions, housing market analysts, business users and academics.