New single UK wide property index set for early 2016 launch

A new official UK wide residential property index is set to be published for the first time in the first half of next year, it has been confirmed.

Work on the index has been slower than anticipated due to access to property data delaying the finalisation of the methodology to be used, according to an update report from the Office of National Statistics.

Since a consultation was launched last year work has been focussed on securing the necessary approval for implementation of the new house price index, taking forward the legal work to secure access to property attributes data and further investigating the commitments made in the consultation response.

The ONS said that good progress has been made in a number of areas. Firstly, each of the departments involved has now had approval for implementation of the new index. Secondly, in response to feedback from the consultation, the use of GOV.UK has been investigated as a central publication point for the new index.

Indeed, as a result of this investigation, it is proposed that the new UK house price index will be published via the Land Registry pages of GOV.UK providing a single and central access point for users. Further details will be made available in due course.

However, a spokesman explained that securing the access to property attributes data has been slower than anticipated, which has meant the analysis required to finalise the methodology for the new index has been delayed. ‘It is expected that this access should be resolved shortly,’ the spokesman added.

Over the next few months the focus of the development work will be to finalise access to the data required for the new index. This will allow the index methodology to be finalised and subsequently an article to be published fully explaining the new methodology and production process for users.

Work will also be done to begin testing the production of the new index and start planning the implementation of the new index and the transition for users. Further details regarding the transition for users will be made available later in the year.

‘Whilst there is still a large amount of work to take forward, it is anticipated the new index will be ready for publication in the first half of 2016,’ the ONS spokesman added.