Five Questions About: House prices

 

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The Independent Online

What are the latest figures?

Land Registry figures show the price of an average home in England and Wales fell by 0.9 per cent last month and by 3.2 per cent since this time last year. But Nationwide reported a rise of 0.4 per cent, putting the price of a home at 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

Why are they different?

Indices are confusing because they are calculated on different data. Land Registry figures are based on sales completed. Nationwide's figures are based on mortgage offers that have been agreed but before the sale has taken place.

This means that while Land Registry data is the most accurate in terms of prices, it lags behind Halifax and Nationwide by about three months.

What other house price indices are there?

Rightmove publishes figures based on current asking prices. The website reported a 3.1 per cent drop in average prices in November – the biggest fall since 2007. Hometrack and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) both produce surveys based on the opinions of agents and surveyors. This means they report house price movements.

Hometrack's figures for November showed that prices fell 0.2 per cent and are 2.3 per cent down on last year.

The LSL Acadametrics survey reported that house prices increased by 0.2 per cent during the month, but are still 1.3 per cent down on last year.

What is the most reliable index?

The LSL Acadametrics index is considered the most comprehensive because it combines actual sales and more real-time data.

What is the value of the average home?

According to most indices the average price of a UK home is £165,000. However, Rightmove and LSL Acadametrics both place it at £220,000.

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