House price indices under review

The National Statistician is conducting a review of house price indices to see of there any gaps in consumer information.

The review, expected to be completed by November, will consult with users of house price indices to find out if there are any gaps in information.

The Office of National Statistic refused to be drawn on the outcome of the review and what action it may take but ruled out influencing private indices.

A spokesman for the ONS says: “It’s basically reviewing the coherence and comparability of housing statistics. At the moment we’re very aware that there are lots of different statistics from lots of different public and private sources. We want to look at them in the round to make sure they are providing the correct analysis.”

Regular house price indices are published from a variety of sources including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Land Registry, Halifax, Nationwide and LSL/Academetrics.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, says looking at one month’s rise is not helping consumers.

He adds: “People have got to sit back and see what happens to the housing market. Consumers are taking a medium term view and rather than the short term view of one month’s statistics.”

The National Statistician is the Statistics Authority’s and the Government’s principal adviser on official statistics.