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Land Registry Data

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I was in touch with the land registry on Friday to ask them about access to residential property data with a view to doing a mobile version of www.houseprices.co.uk - be rather fun to annoy EAs in their premises by looking up past sale prices on your mobile phone there and then :)

It turns out its not a cheap exercise, at £15k just to get started :( - so has kind of killed the idea for the time being.

However, they did let me know how many transactions they had in their database for each year going back to April 2000, as follows :

Apr 2000- 31 Dec 2000 839430 rows of data

2001 1203710 rows of data

2002 1311803 rows of data

2003 1189726 rows of data

2004 1190349 rows of data

to 31 Aug 2005 514863 rows of data

So, in extrapolated annual terms, thats as follows :

Year No. of transactions

2000 1119240

2001 1203710

2002 1311803

2003 1189726

2004 1190349

2005 772295

Apologies if this data has been posted before, but that looks like a substantial drop for this year.

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I was on their site this weekend looking at my local area - M28 1 postcode (Boothstown, Worsley, Gtr Manchester).

Went back quatrerly to beginning of 2002 and found the following volumes;

Jan - Mar 2002 58

Apr - Jun 2002 62

Jly - Sep 2002 55

Oct - Dec 2002 66

Jan - MAr 2003 38

Apr - Jun 2003 57

Jly - Sep 2003 57

Oct - Dec 2003 63

Jan - MAr 2004 56

Apr - Jun 2004 74

Jly - Sep 2004 68

Oct - Dec 2004 55

Jan - MAr 2005 38

Apr - Jun 2005 32

In other words estate agents will have got used to consistent volumes of approx 60 per month but this year it is little over 30. Activity evidently peaked in the middle of last year.

When is the JLy - Sep 2005 data due? 01/01/11? Should be interesting!

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The figures for 2005 are meaningless because of lag. It will be another 2-4 months before all the figures for q2 have been collated. The truth is, we won't know the true transaction levels for 2005 until the midddle of next year. Extrapolating figures like this is fun, but it's very premature to draw any conclusions from them.

Edited by Baz63

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The figures for 2005 are meaningless because of lag. It will be another 2-4 months before all the figures for q2 have been collated. The truth is, we won't know the true transaction levels for 2005 until the midddle of next year. Extrapolating figures like this is fun, but it's very premature to draw any conclusions from them.

Are you saying that the figures quoted on the land registry site for the first 2 quarters of this year will change and all their reports will be recalculated as later figures come in? I assumed that these are actual figures for the period and are fixed.

I believe them to be true in my area as many houses have been on the market now for > 6mths.

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Are you saying that the figures quoted on the land registry site for the first 2 quarters of this year will change and all their reports will be recalculated as later figures come in? I assumed that these are actual figures for the period and are fixed.

I believe them to be true in my area as many houses have been on the market now for > 6mths.

The reports won't be recalculated, but additional transactions for those quarters will come in that will never be included in the reports.

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The reports won't be recalculated, but additional transactions for those quarters will come in that will never be included in the reports.

If the report figures and reports don't change then how do we know that figures are inserted and then essentially go missing?

If true, this practice seems statistically rubbish and immediately totally discounts the land registry as a source of reliable information. I had viewed the land registry as an objective, non biassed source of actual sale prices and volumes.

The figures should(must) surely have an end of quarter cut off date after which new figures are included in the following quarter report.

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If the report figures and reports don't change then how do we know that figures are inserted and then essentially go missing?

If true, this practice seems statistically rubbish and immediately totally discounts the land registry as a source of reliable information. I had viewed the land registry as an objective, non biassed source of actual sale prices and volumes.

The figures should(must) surely have an end of quarter cut off date after which new figures are included in the following quarter report.

The can't include new figures in the following quarter's report, because the following quarter's report only relates to transactions that took place in that quarter.

You can easily verify that what I'm saying is correct. Go to the Land Registry's site and download their report for Q1 2005. Pick an area -- I'll use Cambridgeshire as an example. The PDF report records 1,878 sales at an average price of £193,945. Now go and use their online search, which has figures updated to the beginning of August, and look at Cambridgeshire in Q1 2005. There were 2,129 sales in Q1 at an average price of £195,591 -- so well over 10% of them were not included in the report for Q1, and there may still be more to come.

It can't be done any other way. There's always a trade-off between accuracy and timeliness, and you just have to choose where to draw the line. The Land Registry is already the most accurate and least timely report there is, so why make it even more accurate at the cost of making it even later?

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So to clarify - the online searches for areas and postcodes are upto date and supercede the pdf reports.

Seeing as the accurate online stuff currently only goes upto Jun '05 how likely is it then that figures prior to June this year will be adjusted by information just coming to light now (end of Oct)? Surely for this period they know all they are going to know now - there isn't that much of an info delay from solictitors.

When I search on my area for the last 5 periods I get volumes of 74, 68, 55, 38, 32. To me this points to serious market decline.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other thing I did with the data from Land registery this weekend was do an asking price comparison with the actual prices achieved;

I searched the local free paper for all property advetrsied in the M28 1 area and averaged it for det, semis, terraced. Results are

Detached - currently 15 properties being advertised at an average asking price of £285k. Avergage selling price as per latest data on Land Reg is £246.5K. On face value this appears to be a 14% reduction is achieved on average.

For semis - 30 advertised; Average price £ 162K. Achieved £136K; Av reduction 16%.

For terraced - 9 advertsied; Average price £135K; achieved £110K; Av reduction 19%.

Conclusions - too much supply for volumes being taken up. Advertised prices are fantasy - start negotiations with a 20%+ opening gambit. There are desperate sellers out there and equally desperate estate agents.

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I thought that the changes to the previous stamp duty legislation with the new SDLT regime led to quicker registration at the Land Registry.

Anyway, whichever way you look at the volume numbers compared to the previous 4 years, it is clear that the market has run out of steam.

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For information: the land registry figures are an invaluable and accurate reflection of sales volume, but very laggy. They should NOT be used to estimate house prices as they are not mix-adjusted.

Volumes for my area for 2004/2005 (RG21)

.... _Q1 _Q2 _Q3 _Q4

2004 137 273 160 185

2005 _89 152 _51

Now the Q3 2005 is obviously meaningless at this time, at I'd expect Q2 2005 to go up a little bit - but Q1 2005 should be pretty close now, and that has finished up showing -35%. Q2 2005 is currently showing -45%, and I'm expecting it to finish probably not much more than -40%!

It is worth noting that Q3 2004 already includes the start of the slide...

[NB: underscores are just padding to make the table work]

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Buffer Bear - thanks for the info and link.

Rapid Decent - I think the figures for your area RG21 confirm the findings from my locality. The peak was the final quarter of last year both for price and volume. We are now nearly 12 months further on and this information cannot be kept from the general public for much longer even though the vested interests will try and try to the very end.

Witness the NAEA yesterday encouraging first time buyers to buy now before its too late with regard to SIPPS. Disgraceful.

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