§ Ruth Kelly
There are significant concerns about whether currently available measures give adequate estimates of house price inflation. The Land Registry produces the most comprehensive measure, covering all transactions in England and Wales. However, price changes as measured by the Land Registry are affected by changes in the composition (mix) of transactions, as well as pure price changes. Mix- adjustment is desirable as there is significant variation from one period to the next in the characteristics of properties sold size, type eg flat or house, location and other factors that affect price. Figures from the Halifax and Nationwide are mix-adjusted, and also more timely, but only cover properties purchased with mortgages from these providers. These two indicators can show significant differences, highlighting concerns as to how representative they are. The Government is concerned about such discrepancies, and is therefore planning to launch a new official house price measure in the Summer 2003, though it will not cover non-mortgage financed house purchases.