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Who Does the Best House Price Survey?

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We hear a lot about the movement of house prices from a variety of sources.  Each one seems to take data from different points within the house buying process and can therefore be quite different.  The following is a summary of how the main players compile their figures.



Land Registry

 

  • Records all completed property sales in England and Wales
  • The survey features the end of the buying process, when a transaction is registered
  • Uses ‘Repeat Sales Regression’ to measure price changes (a comparison of price change in repeat sales)
  • Sale of commercial properties and certain residential sales (discounted sales) are excluded
  • Repossessions and property transfers are excluded
  • Produces a monthly survey
  • Provides an accurate insight into national and local prices

 

Government Price Survey

 

  • Issued monthly by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
  • Based on data supplied by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)
  • Covers a large sample of sales (around 60%) that have gone through with a mortgage, so therefore does not include cash sales
  • The Government survey is weighted heavily on money spent rather than transactions
  • Weighting the survey to expenditure means that London and the South East will have a disproportionate influence on the figures
  • The data comes from completed transactions

 

Nationwide & Halifax

 

  • The big two mortgage lenders’ surveys covers the whole of the UK
  • Based on a sample of the lender’s own loans for that month
  • Prices measured are those at the point when the loan is agreed – not the actual completion
  • Both banks used identical statistical methods
  • The data only takes into account mortgaged sales and ignores any cash sales

 

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

 

  • This survey reflects confidence in the housing market from its members, rather than what is actually happening
  • Around 250 estate agents are asked if they feel that prices are rising or falling in their area for the preceding three months
  • The RICS survey is generally the first to pick up any major market changes
  • Members are asked other related questions such as if the number of buyers and sellers is rising or falling

 

Hometrack and Rightmove

 

  • Hometrack data is collected from 3,500 estate agents in all 2,200 postcode districts of England & Wales
  • Estate agents report whether house prices are rising or falling
  • They are also asked to report an ‘achievable selling price’ for each of four standard properties in their area
  • The Rightmove survey is compiled by collating asking prices on the website over the previous month
  • The website claims to display 90% of all property for sale in the UK, although its survey covers only England and Wales