Government to publish monthly housing index

Shortcomings in the collection of housing market data has led the government to begin publishing its own monthly housing index, starting next summer.

The National Statistics house index will seek to build a more sophisticated picture of the housing market than that provided by large banks and building societies such as the Halifax, and Nationwide&#39s monthly surveys.

Though Halifax and Nationwide both produce their own monthly surveys of house price inflation, their surveys are based on mortgage approvals rather than final prices paid by housebuyers and only cover loans forwarded by the two lenders.

The new index is expected to be monthly and to cover the whole of the UK, with separate analysis of each region and will cover all transactions, whether cash or mortgage based.

Plans to include details of the type of building sold whether new or old, council, shared or buy-to-let, and the number of habitable rooms will also be included with the aim of presenting a better understanding of key drivers of the housing and property market.