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Hometrack scraps old-style house price indexHometrack's monthly house price index for England and Wales, made up of data from between 2,000 and 3,000 agents, has been scrapped after 14 years.

It now transpires that the index results issued last week for the month of September will be the last; instead, Hometrack will issue an index looking specifically at cities.

The old-style index was first published in the year 2000 and was initially criticised by some London-based high-end agents who claimed its data was flawed because of poor reliability and alleged dishonesty of contributing agents who would use it to talk up the market.

The perception of the index changed when Hometrack poached the then-head of Savills research, Richard Donnell, and when the firm decided to handle its media relations in-house.

The questionnaire on which the house price index was based was then refined to 11 standard questions which include the time to sell, changes in demand and supply, sales agreed, the proportion of the asking price being achieved and pricing levels.

The index became known for clever marketing - for example, Hometrack would embargo its December figures for Boxing Day, in the knowledge that newspapers and broadcasters would be short of news and that the rest of the property industry was on holiday.

But in recent years the Hometrack index has become lost in the noise of the dozens of other house price and sentiment indices which are issued by agents, consultancies, mortgage lenders and industry organisations.

The new City index, which will appear for the first time at the end of this month, will be an attempt to regain the initiative in data supplied to the residential market.

Hometrack's new PR agents, Edelman, describes the index as the only index of its kind and will for the first time unveil data specific to 20 UK cities. These localised indices are a key component of Hometrack's automated valuation model, which has a 12 year pedigree and is utilised by four of the five top lenders in the UK. This series of highly granular indices has remained proprietary to Hometrack and unpublished to date.

Comments

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    Bit of a shame as Hometrack's was always consistent and clear compared to some of the other rubbish blitzed out.

    • 02 October 2014 14:54 PM
valpal
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