The housing market affects everyone in some way, so it is no surprise that house price data is so keenly monitored.
We register the ownership of all land and property in England and Wales and our register holds details of more than 23.5 million titles.
As an organisation, we fully support the principles of open data and transparency as a driver for economic growth, and will release our data whenever possible. Over the last few weeks, we have made two of our licensable data-sets freely available, bringing greater transparency to the UK residential property market.
On 30 May 2013, we published our House Price Index (HPI) background tables, followed by the historical Price Paid Data on 28 June 2013. Both datasets will be accessible as machine-readable Linked Data, on our website and on data.gov.uk from 26 July 2013.
Historical price paid data
Through our historical price paid data, you can track single residential property sales in England and Wales that were sold for full market value. Files dating back to January 2009 are available – that is almost four and a half years (53 monthly files) worth of data that you can download.
By November 2013, we plan to release the full dataset dating back to 1995. The release of this data will mean that all records captured over the last 17 years are in the public domain.
House Price Index collaboration
Our HPI data and reports are frequently used by individuals and organisations to monitor the variance in house price sales in different areas.
The comparison of our information with data from other providers like the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Registers of Scotland and the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland (DFPNI) has highlighted a number of variances, which arise because of different collection methodologies. These differences were addressed in the National Statisticians review of house price statistics 2010.
The report recommended the introduction of a single UK index, which would require the four official providers to work collaboratively.
Recently ONS proposed a joint venture with HM Land Registry and the other two official providers. The project will consider the development of a UK House Price Index, which utilises data from each of the official providers, to create one definitive UK index.
This is a bold step forward and will positively help all HPI users when developed, as best practice will be adopted and data sources possibly merged to provide even more detail. Who will be responsible for the production of this new HPI is still to be investigated and agreed.