Consultation on Definitive House Price Index

Office For National Statistics

Office For National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics has launched a consultation seeking input from “users” on the proposal of developing a single definitive house price index.

As I have blogged about previously, there is not a precise house price index as all of the current indexes source their data differently.

The move to a single, UK-wide, index would help end the confusion caused by the contrasting data thrown up by the current indexes.

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Can You Trust House Price Index Data?

Can you trust House Price Index stats?

Can you trust House Price Index stats?

A House Price Index… is it worth the paper it’s written on?

It seems that every month the property industry, and the general public, is bombarded with another statistic relating to average house prices. The headlines usually heap a lot of importance on these statistics, either stating that it highlights the impending burst of the “property bubble”, its continued inflation or using it to show people are being priced out of the market.

But each House Price Index uses different measurements and covers different sample sizes, areas and date ranges. Many can indicate a national average property price that varies greatly from the consumers experience.

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Stats Watch

Stats WatchWe’re on a mission to separate the wheat from the chaff (or less politely, the plethora of meaningless statistics from the occasional nugget of useful information).  Or at least to lend some balance to the often widely-reported headline grabbers that frequently make it into the press.

 

Property news sites and publications across the country have repeated the great news that, according to BTL lender Paragon, average UK void periods have dropped to 2.8 weeks (20 days) from 3.5 weeks (24.5 days) over the past year.  A somewhat meaningless stat that masks huge regional, and agency, variations.  For instance, our Young London lettings agency’s average void period is just 2 days at the moment (the minimum insisted upon to ensure properties are professionally cleaned and prepared for the new tenants).

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Property Derivatives

The market for property derivatives is fairly small in the UK.

Most of the major banks have departments that cover them,  however they have few members of staff.

I am not go ing

to pretend to be an expert on it. However, I had a meeting with one of the banks regarding

them last week.

The meeting came about after my appearance on the panel at the launch of the IPD Residential Index 2010. At the end of my session I was approached to arrange a meeting to discuss the residential property market and  property derivatives.

Property derivatives are a form of hedging – similar to taking a position on exchange rate fluctuations or interest rates movements.

There are retail offerings where people can walk into their local bank branch and invest their money based on their belief that for example the Halifax house price index will increase.

 This can be across the UK or more specific in terms of region, and over different time periods.

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