Puzzle as ONS puts house prices much higher than Land Registry
Wednesday 15th August 2012
The Government’s latest official house price index shows that first-time buyers paid £173,000 for a property in June.
But the Office for National Statistics’s new survey once again highlights the extraordinary mismatch with the Government’s other official house price index, the Land Registry.
The Land Registry’s average house price in June, paid by all buyers, was £161,777 – less than the figure quoted by the ONS just for first-time buyers for the same month.
The ONS gives £231,000 as the average price paid by all buyers in June – a £70,000 discrepancy between the two surveys, making it effectively impossible for much credibility to be attached to either.
To add to the mystery, ONS quotes house prices across the UK, while pointing out that the lowest house prices are in Northern Ireland (£131,000), Wales (£154,000) and Scotland (£180,000), by contrast with the average house price of £240,000 in England.
Thus, including house prices in Northern Ireland and Scotland lowers the ONS average. Yet this still manages to be vastly higher than the Land Registry’s average price which covers only England and Wales.
The discrepancies, of which the national press seem unaware, continue with the ONS saying that house prices rose 2.8% in England and stayed unchanged in Wales over the last 12 months. According to the Land Registry, there was barely any movement across England and Wales as a whole.
The ONS also says that annual house prices were driven by a 6.5% rise in London, and by increases in the South-West and South-East of 2.3 and 2.2% respectively. The only decrease in England was of 1.3% in the North-East.
A leap of 5.9% in the price of new homes to stand at £216,000 contributed to the average rise, according to the ONS. It said that by contrast, the average price of pre-owned dwellings rose by 2.1% in the same period.
UK average house prices increased by 2.3% over the year to June 2012, unchanged from a 2.3% increase in the year to May 2012. The average UK mix-adjusted house price in June 2012 was £231,000.
Excluding London and the South-East, says the ONS, something called the ‘average UK mix-adjusted house price’ was £187,000 – still higher than the Land Registry’s overall average.
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