Depending on your point of view, current property prices can either be a reason to rejoice or despair. Keeping an accurate track of UK house price rises and falls is the role of the UK House Price Index (UK HPI). This index shows changes to residential property values in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is calculated by HM Land Registry, the Office for National Statistics, Registers of Scotland and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland.
This month was the first anniversary of the UK HPI and users had special reason to celebrate as the second batch of service improvements went live. Users now enjoy enhanced navigation, more data and a transparent view of data revisions. These improvements make the information more comprehensive and enable intuitive analysis.
Henry Pryor, Property Commentator of the Year 2017, told us:
“In a broth of other housing statistics, comment and analysis that I digest every month, I come back to the UK HPI with both relief and reassurance. The nation’s housing market is the talk of dinner parties, of pub lunches and its health or otherwise, of the countries’ biggest asset class worth a staggering £6.8 trillion, is a topic that requires objective, reliable and timely data. If only politics and religion had the same foundations provided by HM Land Registry, perhaps we could all finally talk about something else around the meal table.”
We understand the impact the UK HPI has on the wider economy, so we endeavour to ensure our data quality and users experience is of a high standard. Each enhancement we make takes us a step closer towards the removal of our UK HPI experimental status. When removed, we can progress with the second phase of assessment to become a National Statistic. Visit About the UK HPI to keep up-to-date.
Faisal Choudhry, Director of Scottish Research within Savills UK’s Residential Research Team, told us:
“The new HPI sets a new standard with regards to house price indices. It’s an official index so immediately the user and recipient of the information cannot doubt the credibility or assume any bias that would accompany private company indices.”
On an average month, more than 6,600 users access the index’s background data. Their feedback helps the planning and prioritisation of enhancements to all elements of the UK HPI. This includes the improvements that went live on 13 June 2017.
To improve your understanding and navigation of the index we have:
- improved supporting guidance in our About the UK HPI pages;
- introduced new quick links to frequently used sections of the ‘About the UK HPI’ pages; and
- created more visible links to the UK House Price interactive tool.
You can now choose how you view the index and review the 2016 statistics through:
- new functionality that allows you to toggle between a chart and table, depending on your preference for visual or textual information; and
- the first edition of the UK House Price Index annual review was published in February 2017. Property value trends and commentaries of the external influences affecting the UK HPI, such as the effects of stamp duty on second homes and the June European Union referendum, are also included.
The extension of the revision period from two to 13 months improves the capture of new build properties, making the data more comprehensive. Also, new revision tables for England and Wales make it easier to identify and check the impact of changes.
In the coming months, we plan to merge our historic data (pre-1995) with both our downloadable and linked data offerings. This will also open up the data from 1968 in our interactive tool. In response to user feedback we will also make considerable enhancements to the online interactive tool, which will include:
- expanding the searchable options;
- bringing back the ability to compare multiple areas; and
- making the user journey even more intuitive.
We will continue to seek your input on how we can develop the service further. To enable you to share your views and access important UK HPI updates we will shortly create a LinkedIn forum to assist ongoing conversations. More information on how you can join the forum will be shared in July. If you would prefer to communicate with us through another channel please contact us and we will consider your request.