Britain is to get an official buy to let rent index for the first time, promises a new report from the government’s head of statistics.
A two-year inquiry in to house price surveys and rents has finally delivered some recommendations that are due to go to consultation with politicians and the housing industry in October 2012.
The market is currently served with a hotch-potch of official and unofficial surveys that deliver widely differing results.
Homebuyers, property investors, landlords and tenants need accurate and timely financial information about prices and rents so they can make informed decisions, but the current system is a mess of biased, out-of-date and inaccurate data.
Even two rival government surveys offer a price difference of more than £70,000 for the average home in July – the latest date figures are available for.
The Land Registry puts the average home price in England and Wales at £162,900, while the UK average is £234,000, according to the Communities and Local Government Department.
Now, National Statistician Jil Matheson has come up with three recommendations for a new system:
- A new headline house price index for the entire UK
- A new private rental index for the entire UK
- More timely and localised data for homebuyers and landlords
“This report builds on the findings from my review of official house price statistics, published in December 2010,” said Matheson.
“The housing market affects everyone in the UK in some way. Statistics on the housing market and the factors that influence it are essential for making informed decisions on housing, whether in central or local government, the private or voluntary sector, or private individuals deciding whether to move, rent, buy or invest.”
The report also explains the review is a response to concerns that the public and policymakers were getting enough information on the housing market in time to make informed decisions.