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Jun 28

Pointless house price index

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The latest house price index has just come out from Nationwide. Halifax is the other biggie that comes out periodically.

I don’t know why they bother to give a UK-wide figure. It’s such a distortion that it does no one any good.

The latest figures according to Nationwide are:

  • UK house prices increased by 0.3% in June and were 1.9% higher than June 2012
  • The typical UK home is now worth £168,941
  • Southern regions of England, especially London, continued to record stronger rates of house price growth

The point is, though, that we have a two-speed housing economy with prices in central London rocketing each year (roughly 8-10% around the big parks in the centre) while prices in the north particularly are actually going down. Even towns that are fairly well-off and have nice schools etc are generally seeing no movement at all in house prices.

We should stop having these UK-wide prices and cut them into two figures at least – one for London and the South East and one of the rest of the country. At least that way we would have something like a clear sense of what prices are actually doing.

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