Estate Agent Stirling Ackroyd Comment On UK House Price Indices Review

Top Quote London estate agent, Stirling Ackroyd react to the latest Government plans to review house price indices. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 09, 2010 - Gemma Bullent, Investment Analyst at Stirling Ackroyd (a leading London estate agent), has reacted strongly to the latest Government plans to review house price indices in an internal interview. The firm has provided estate agency and property surveying services since 1986 and was a driving force behind the regeneration of both Shoreditch and Hackney. From it's early days in a then unfashionable fringe area of north London, the brand has grown to offer buyers, sellers and investors expert advice on all aspects of residential and commercial property in Shoreditch, Bankside, Hackney and Clerkenwell.

    Gemma's extensive experience of the London property market opportunities has given her a rare expert insight what it might mean for both buyers and vendors.

    First on the table was whether the house price indices are actually meaningful at all as a way to gauge the health of the UK housing market. This question comes hot on the heels of the UK government's announcement it is to review both the House Price Index and the monthly Land Registry Report.

    "There are many measures and no one index can be trusted in isolation. To get a true picture of the market all the different measures need to be taken into account. London is a market all of its own, although it can be used as an indicator for the rest of the country. There will also be specific areas or even certain streets or properties that buck the national or local trends. This shows the importance of having expert advice from knowledgeable professionals when buying or selling a property or making a decision whether to rent or buy."

    On the Land Registry Report, Gemma also stressed it is no substitute for expert advice for anyone considering a property transaction right now:

    "Often national statistics will not bear much relationship to the fundamentals of specific local housing markets. The Land Registry is unfortunately somewhat flawed by the fact it is delayed, and is therefore a backward-looking measure. It can take up to 24 weeks from completion to register a transaction with the Registry. "

    As for the Communities and Local Government (CLG) measure, launched in 2003 to provide a more accurate picture of house price inflation, Gemma argued it really only provides a partial analysis.

    "The CLG measure based on mortgage completions only tells part of the story. On their own admission the current figures are based on a much reduced sample size. The measure also does not take into account the many transactions occurring without mortgage finance in the current housing market.

    If you're looking to the Halifax and Nationwide indices, they also only use small sample sizes. Furthermore, the Halifax index tends to focus on the North and the Nationwide on the South. Between this geographical bias and the fact that London is a market within a market, buyers and vendors instead need to refocus closely on movement within their local markets. "

    Whilst she praised RICS, Rightmove and Hometrack indices as more up to date representations of housing market conditions, again there was a warning for both sellers and vendors.

    "Each of these can only be used to reflect the specific measure it covers rather than indicating the state of the market as a whole. The best advice for anyone looking to buy or sell right now is to work with a long established estate agent. It's the most certain way to get an accurate picture of the local conditions - and those are the ones that really matter. "

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