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Call to standardise price index

A new official house price index should be launched measuring changes to property values across the whole of the UK, the National Statistician has said.

Jil Matheson said a single headline measure of changes to property values should be introduced to help people who monitored house prices.

She said there were concerns about the coverage, clarity and comparability of the current official housing statistics.

There are two official house price indexes, one published by the Land Registry and one published by Communities and Local Government.

But the Land Registry index only covers properties in England and Wales, while it also measures house prices at the time a sale is completed, which is right at the end of the process.

The CLG index covers the whole of the UK, but it reports data around a month later than most indexes, while it is based on the price of a property at the time a mortgage is completed, which is not always the same as the final amount paid for a home.

There are also a number of unofficial indexes, including the Nationwide and Halifax indexes, which measure house prices when a mortgage is approved, the Rightmove index, which measures property asking prices in England and Wales, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ survey, which looks at house prices, buyer demand and the supply of property for sale.

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