A Guide To House Price Figures: Introduction

The array of house price information can be mind-boggling. Whether it is Land Registry data, Home.co.uk's own Asking Price Index or latest statistics from mortgage lenders there is no shortage of information available.

The most common form of house price information used is to calculate the overall average price trends of a group of houses or region. But it must be remembered that this is just, "one of many plausible measures of the central tendency of house price appreciation for a particular group of properties." (Abraham and Schauman, 1991).

If taken with a degree of caution house price and asking price figures can be a useful indicator of trends in the market. But that is all they are, an indicator. No figures will be able to tell categorically how much an individual house is or will be worth, or by exactly how much the house price market will go up or down.

Another problem with house price information is that findings can often be wildly contradictory. While one set predicts a housing slump, on the same day another may say prices are static or going up. This guide aims to shed light on the main sets of house price figures (also known as house price indices), how those releasing the data come to their conclusions and the disadvantages and advantages of each method.

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