Britain gets the first independent, official house price index this month.
The inaugural UK House Price Index is due for publication on Tuesday, June 2016 and is a landmark for the property industry.
So far, the market has been fragmented with house price reports from private companies and government agencies.
The Department of Communities and Local Government index and house price data from the Land Registry have now ceased publication in favour of the new index.
The issue at the heart of the change is policymakers and consumers had no single index covering the UK – some unofficial publications included Scotland, while others did not.
For years, house prices reported in the press from sources such as The Nationwide, Lloyds Bank, LSL Property Services and The Halifax have been badly skewed.
For example, the statistics were based on the financial firm’s or estate agency customer data.
Different financial firms calculated their index from mortgage approvals or amounts borrowed on completion.
Their statistics also depended on where they had branches – The Halifax is strong in the North of England, while the Nationwide is better represented in the South East.
Reported house prices also covered different time periods and could often vary by tens of thousands of pounds for an average home in the same region.
The new data will include Northern Ireland as well as Scotland, England and Wales.
Five reports will be published:
- A UK monthly summary
- Monthly reports for England, Scotland and Wales
- A quarterly report for Northern Ireland
- First time buyer statistics
- New build home statistics
Meanwhile, the Land Registry data is offline while a new web search tool is under construction.
The new UK House Price Index runs alongside an experimental Index of Private Housing Rental Prices on the Office of National Statistics web site.