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House price figures explained

Sometimes the housing market seems designed to confuse, especially when it comes to house price indices.

There seems to be countless different figures from the likes of the Halifax, Nationwide, Rightmove, the Land Registry, National Housing Federation, the Office for National Statistics and others.

The various indices tend to be compiled on different criteria with statistics taken at different stages of a sale or purchase.

They are all good barometers in their own way but the UK House Price Index is probably the best guide in the first instance.

 As a general rule the Halifax House Price Index and many banks’ indices are based on mortgage transaction data.

 For example, the UK House Price Index (HPI) uses house sales data from the HM Land Registry and is calculated by the Office of National Statistics. The NHF also relies on ONS and Government data.

 Advertising sites such as Rightmove are more likely to be based on asking prices.

They are all good indicators in their own way but for a more realistic picture of overall prices and trends, the UK House Price Index is probably the best guide.

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