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Indices are fine but surveyors are best


There are a variety of house price indicators in the market so when consulting them it’s important to understand how they are constructed, as well as the data on which they are based.

For example, high profile lender indices are based on a subset of agreed prices or mortgage offer prices that the lenders concerned are aware of.

By definition, they can’t include data for the 98 or so other lenders also active at the time.

Other online indices are taken from surveys of asking prices and estate agents’ opinions of their local market.

The good news is that over time there is broad agreement between all these indices, although crucially some appear to capture market conditions earlier than others. But each tends to show a measure of consistency around the average, either conservative or bullish.

The LSL Acadametrics index deals with these issues by acting as an index of indices to smooth out anomalies and capture virtually all relevant Land Registry data.

Unlike other indices it is reporting 1% price drops in each of the past four months so it will be interesting to see if the other measures crystallise around this trend soon.

Of course, while indices are useful reference points, for professionals involved in the mortgage process it’s the specific value of a specific property at a specific point in time that is important.

And for that, you can’t beat asking the advice of a good old chartered surveyor.


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Adam Roberts of Southside Mortgages in Nottingham has won an iPad in Precise Mortgages’ registration draw. Other prizes available to brokers who registered included holiday vouchers.

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Infographic — health cash plans 2014

Health Shield has strengthened its position in the cash plan market, according to the latest Laing & Buisson report, increasing its market share by income from £27m in 2012 to £29m in 2013. The Health Cover UK Market Report 2014 revealed that the non-profit-making Friendly Society was the only provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income over the past year. Health Shield was also the only cash plan provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income every year for the previous five years. This infographic presents the figures.


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