This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 . The Act allows an appropriate authority to request an assessment of official statistics against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics in order for them to gain National Statistics status. This report is in response to such a request. The report covers a new UK House Price Index (UK HPI) being developed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in partnership with Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland (LPSNI), hereafter referred to as ONS and partners.
In July 2013 ONS announced that the four producers of official house price statistics (ONS and partners) were investigating options for the production of a new single UK HPI. This work was triggered in response to a recommendation from the 2010 National Statistician’s Review of House Price Indices . In February 2014 , the Statistics Authority announced that, in light of this proposed development, the Authority did not aim to offer a formal designation of the current ONS House Price Index but would instead assess the potential new UK HPI and leave open the option to assess any associated official statistics developed consistent with this Index, should the producer bodies request this. The Authority expects that any such requests will be submitted shortly after the publication of this report.
The Statistics Authority is conducting this assessment in two phases: • The first phase – which this report covers – assesses compliance with the Code of Practice in respect of those aspects essential to the planning and development of methods for the new index, including user engagement (listed at Annex 1) • The second phase will be carried out after the new index is published and will involve an assessment of the statistics in light of users’ views. Phase 2 will consider how ONS and partners have responded to the findings from this report and will cover compliance with the remaining practices of the Code. The provisional timetable for Phase 2 is set out in Annex 1
On 14 July 2015, ONS announced that Land Registry will ultimately be responsible for publishing the new UK HPI in order to allow for a more coherent presentation of house price statistics via GOV.UK. As ONS will continue to lead on the development of the new indices, in partnership with Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and LPSNI this Phase 1 report will continue to refer to ‘ONS and partners’. However, while we expect that the four producer bodies will continue to work closely together to produce and publish the statistics (see Section 2 for more details), any Requirements included in the Phase 2 report of this assessment will be addressed directly to Land Registry.
This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Regulation Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Director General for Regulation.