House price statistics are key economic indicators and provide important insights into the wider economy and society by helping users to understand trends in the UK and the Northern Ireland housing markets. Economic policy makers use the indices to assess impacts on both the demand and supply sides of the economy, to inform decisions about household consumption and inflationary effects arising from changing prices, the health of the construction industry, the affordability of housing for new housing market entrants, and the capacity of the finance sector to extend credit to households and businesses to support home ownership and investment.

This Assessment covers the new UK House Price Index (UK HPI) developed by HM Land Registry in partnership with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Registers of Scotland (RoS) and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland (LPS). It also covers the Northern Ireland House Price Index (NI HPI) produced by LPS. This Assessment is the second of a two-phase assessment process triggered in response to a recommendation from the 2010 National Statistician’s Review of House Price Indices, and incorporates the partners’ response to the phase 1 findings.

Our Assessment has identified some areas where the partners could add more public value to these statistics. It shows that the new UK HPI and the NI HPI are already widely valued by a range of different users and points to areas where HM Land Registry and partners must build on the progress already made in establishing the UK HPI as a key economic indicator to maximise its public value. An essential element of this will be for the statisticians to ensure that the UK HPI represents a robust estimate of the change in average house prices with acceptable revisions. The report also finds that HM Land Registry and partners should strengthen their arrangements to better manage the development of statistical methods, and reinforce confidence and broader public value by setting a clear strategy for the indices future development while proactively engaging with a wide range of different users on an ongoing basis. The report also recommends that LPS statisticians look for opportunities to draw on any relevant insights obtained during UK HPI’s development to further enhance NI HPI’s overall public value. The deadline for meeting the Assessment requirements is the end of March 2018.

Related Links

Ed Humpherson to Graham Farrant

Ed Humperson to Siobahn Carey

UK and Northern Ireland House Price Indices (Phase 1)