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  • 3 weeks later...

Addendum to above:

Doccyboy raised questions regarding the Nationwide data yesterday and whilst I cannot answer DBs specific question I thought it best to list the accompanying information in the last quarterly release, Q4 2007 and the methodology from their website.

Quarterly Release Notes:

1) Indices and average prices for the UK and the regions are produced using Nationwide's updated

mix adjusted House Price Methodology which was introduced with effect from the first quarter of

1995. All changes are nominal and do not allow for inflation. The methodology can be found on

our website: http://www.nationwide.co.uk/hpi/

2) Price indices are seasonally adjusted using the US Bureau of the Census X12 method. Quarterly

series are seasonally adjusted using data since 1973. The seasonal adjustment is recalculated

quarterly and may lead to revisions.

3) The price changes in the sub regional, and local authority tables are based on the price per unit

area of the properties in the sample. Samples are smaller than at a regional level and figures

should not be relied upon for any critical application. Figures are not directly comparable with

mix-adjusted indices.

4) The Nationwide House Price Index is prepared from information which we believe is collated with

care, but no representation is made as to its accuracy or completeness. We reserve the right to

vary our methodology and to edit or discontinue the whole or any part of the Index at any time,

for regulatory or other reasons. Persons seeking to place reliance on the Index for their own or

third party commercial purposes do so entirely at their own risk.


There are several methods that could be used to calculate the trend in house prices, ranging from a simple average of purchase price to a statistical method of averaging. Then there is the matter of making sure that the different mixture of properties sold in each month does not give a false impression of the actual change in house prices. The next few sections explain the way we do this as well as providing some background to the Nationwide house price series and the current methodology that we employ to calculate average house prices. Decorative Image: For Sale Sign

Background to Nationwide House Price Information

Nationwide Building Society has a long history of recording and analysing house price data and has published average house price information since 1952. The following provides a short chronology of publish series and developments in Nationwide's methodology of calculating average house prices:

1952 - Annual publication of house price data (Some indices back to 1946).

1974 - Quarterly data is published for the first time.

1989 - Development of new house price methodology. A statistical 'regression' technique was introduced under guidance of 'Fleming and Nellis' (Loughborough University and Cranfield Institute of Technology).

1993 - The house price system was further improved following publication of the Census 1991 data. Frequency for UK series increased to monthly.

The monthly figure measures the mix adjusted average house price for all houses in the UK. Every quarter the Nationwide also publishes a more detailed breakdown of house prices. These include both UK and 13 regional estimates for:

* 4 types of house (Detached, semi-detached, terraced and flats);

* 2 types of buyer (First time buyer and Former owner occupiers);

* 3 property ages (New, modern and older).

*This makes a total of 140 separate series, all of which are published in our Data Download

Data - source, cleaning and sample size


All house price information is derived using Nationwide mortgage data. This data is extracted monthly for mortgages that are at the approvals stage and after the corresponding building survey has been completed. Approvals data is used as opposed to mortgage completions since it should give an earlier indication of current trends in prices in the housing market.


Nationwide house price series utilise only residential property information. In addition, properties that are not typical and may distort the series are also removed from the data set. Therefore, the following criteria is used to select which properties to include:

* House purchases - remortgages and further advances are excluded

* Properties sold at true market prices - right to buy sales at discounted price are excluded

* Floor size has to be within specified limits for a give type of property - e.g. a detached house has to have at least 400 sq. ft floor area

Sample Size

The number of cases that are used to calculate the average price for a given month will depend on the volume of monthly mortgage activity and out of these the cases that meet the criteria in the cleaning process. The monthly sample size will therefore vary from month to month. Nationwide has sufficient sample size to produce a representative house price series. N.B. Net lending figures quoted at our half yearly and annual results are not a guide to our sample size. Sample size is based on the number of new loans we write i.e. the amount of gross lending for house purchase(remortgage cases are excluded).

The Nationwide Building Society is the 4th largest mortgage lender in the UK by stock. This allows us to be confident that the series based on Nationwide mortgage data is representative of the whole house market.

The quarterly UK series for all houses uses 3 months of data and hence a much larger sample than at the month. The samples sizes for the other quarterly series will depend on what it is they are measuring, for example the series for first time buyers only considers properties being brought by first time buyers and hence this will have a smaller sample size than that used for the whole of the UK. It is for this reason that detailed breakdown of house prices are produced quarterly.

Mix Adjustment Process

Why Mix Adjust?

The purpose of mix adjustment is to simply isolate pure prices changes. The simple example below illustrates how the changes in the mixture of properties sold each month could give a misleading picture of what is actually happening to house prices. The set of properties sold from month to month will vary by location and design etc. and some adjustment is necessary to make sure all of these do not give a false impression of the actual changes to house prices. A mix-adjusted or 'standardised' index is not affected by such changes because the relative weight given to each characteristic of a property in the 'mix' (or 'basket', to use an analogy with retail prices) is fixed from one period to the next.

Simple example - Benefits of mix adjustment

Suppose that the price of both detached houses and flats increased at the same rate for five periods, with flats being cheaper.

Further suppose that the proportion of flats and detached sold in each period varied considerably, as the table shows.

The simple average of both kinds of properties will be influenced by the proportion of each property sold. In periods 3 and 4 the simple average shows a decrease, whereas the actual prices of both increased!

The mix adjusted average uses a consistent measure of the proportion of each type of property and is able to better reflect the true change in prices.

Time Period P1 P2 P3 P4 P5

% Flats 50 30 70 30 70

% Detached 50 70 30 70 30

The mix-adjusted price represents the price for an average or 'typical' house. This should not be confused with the average price of all houses. The latter is usually higher because even though there are fewer more expensive houses sold, their price is such that they bias the simple average to be greater than the price of the typical house.

Calculating the price of a typical house


The price of a property will depend on the characteristics of the property. These characteristics could include physical properties of the house, like its design, but other aspects such as the type of neighbourhood the house is located in will also contribute to the price someone is willing to pay. Using mortgage data, the Nationwide house price system can relate all the observed combinations of these factors and relate them to the price of which the house was sold for. From this, the model can estimate how much on average a house would cost given a set values for these characteristics, in particular a set of characteristics that describes the 'typical' house. This typical house does not physically exist, it is an 'average' house across all the characteristics that the model uses. This method is repeated on data sets at different points in time and changes in the price of this typical house reflect only the price changes over the same time periods, and not the mixture of properties sold in the current or pervious periods.

Factors that affect the price of a house

The following are the items that are used to describe the characteristics of a property. There is no set order that these contribute most to the price of the house, although UK location, the type of neighbourhood and house size are consistently the three most important followed by the design of the house.

* UK Location, i.e. part of country

* Type of neighbourhood. The Nationwide index uses an established demographic system that classifies areas in the UK into 56 categories based on the type of people that live there, two examples include retirement and council areas.

* Floor size

* Property design (detached house, semi-detached house, terraced house, bungalow, flat, etc.)

* Tenure (freehold/leasehold/feudal) except for flats, which are nearly all leasehold

* Number of bathrooms (1 or more than 1)

* Type of central heating (full, part or none)

* Type of garage (single garage, double garage or none)

* Number of bedrooms (1,2,3,4 or more than 4)

* Whether property is new or not

Seasonal Adjustment

House prices are slightly seasonal - that is, prices are higher at certain times of year irrespective of the overall trend. This tends to be in spring and summer, when more buyers are in the market and hence sellers do not need to discount prices so heavily, in order to achieve a sale. The effect on prices over the year is of the order of +/- 2%; however this is much smaller than the change in volume of property transactions. The seasonal effect is estimated twice a year using established statistical methods.

For the monthly house price index where changes can be as little as 0.1%, seasonal factors are important. The Nationwide therefore produce a seasonally adjusted series for UK house prices which seeks to remove this effect so that the overall trend in prices is more readily apparent.

Seasonal adjustment shows that June is generally the strongest month for house prices (raw prices are 1.3% above their SA level) and January is the weakest (raw prices are 1.9% below their SA level).

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With regard to your question yesterday Doccyboy maybe(?) this is the answer:

2) Price indices are seasonally adjusted using the US Bureau of the Census X12 method. Quarterly

series are seasonally adjusted using data since 1973. The seasonal adjustment is recalculated

quarterly and may lead to revisions.

Edited by prophet-profit
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  • 1 month later...

When I applied for a job in Northern Ireland, two things surprised me. One was the insanely high house prices (there really should be a much higher price differential between Windsors Belfast and Berkshire...). The other was the equal opportunities question on community background, which asked for your school of origin if you declined to give your community of origin :blink:

One positive consequence of this nosiness for off-island incomers is that the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS) is far more useful (though less pretty) than upmystreet - it gives info on percentage of renters and OOs, relative measures of crime, environmental quality, employment and education levels, car ownership and use, and allows you to map all sorts of indicators. I use Firefox and add-ons called 'Add to search bar' and 'Context search' to bring up neighbourhood data by right-clicking on a postcode. The site was down for a couple of months, but now it's available again.

Also, Noise Northern Ireland, the local response to a recent European directive on environmental and noise pollution, is full of surprises, with good - if slow - mapping.

Oh, and though upmystreet is crap for NI, aboutmyplace is a bit better. At least it has a decent interface to Windows Live Local's bird's-eye-views.

Still don't know if I'm moving to NI - I might find out next week... even if I don't end up 'round Belfast, I'll be moving house soon, and I've learned a lot on the NI HPC forum. Hope this post helps someone (by way of returning the favour) B)

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  • 6 months later...

I can't believe we forgot to add the Property-Bee tool in here. http://www.property-bee.com/

Remember for the newbies that you'll need to be running Firefox browser at the same time as it is a plugin for that browser only. You can download Firefox here: http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/

Happy bee'ing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Nationwide - Regional Quarterly Indices (Post '73) click here.

Some people may not have a spread sheet program, so here is the data going back to 1990.

Nationwide - Northern Ireland quarterly house prices.

Q1 1990 29985

Q2 1990 29280

Q3 1990 27668

Q4 1990 29674

Q1 1991 30490

Q2 1991 30626

Q3 1991 31669

Q4 1991 30808

Q1 1992 31054

Q2 1992 32284

Q3 1992 33280

Q4 1992 33603

Q1 1993 34574

Q2 1993 36328

Q3 1993 36564

Q4 1993 35837

Q1 1994 37942

Q2 1994 37230

Q3 1994 39858

Q4 1994 38773

Q1 1995 37889

Q2 1995 40789

Q3 1995 40808

Q4 1995 42082

Q1 1996 41610

Q2 1996 45068

Q3 1996 46222

Q4 1996 47321

Q1 1997 48052

Q2 1997 50732

Q3 1997 51962

Q4 1997 52447

Q1 1998 53456

Q2 1998 57005

Q3 1998 54869

Q4 1998 57984

Q1 1999 59179

Q2 1999 60972

Q3 1999 64369

Q4 1999 61946

Q1 2000 65462

Q2 2000 70557

Q3 2000 70056

Q4 2000 71238

Q1 2001 72797

Q2 2001 76376

Q3 2001 76635

Q4 2001 73697

Q1 2002 76074

Q2 2002 82548

Q3 2002 83152

Q4 2002 85289

Q1 2003 86655

Q2 2003 90265

Q3 2003 92999

Q4 2003 94028

Q1 2004 97303

Q2 2004 103238

Q3 2004 107509

Q4 2004 110925

Q1 2005 109949

Q2 2005 117149

Q3 2005 119795

Q4 2005 125585

Q1 2006 129321

Q2 2006 146367

Q3 2006 159859

Q4 2006 181031

Q1 2007 203815

Q2 2007 225447

Q3 2007 227970

Q4 2007 224816

Q1 2008 196892

Q2 2008 183476

Q3 2008 159970

Q4 2008 118525

Q1 2009 112986

Q2 2009 112348

Q3 2009 116051

Q4 2009 116151

Q1 2010 115545

Q2 2010 119057

Q3 2010 117234

Q4 2010 116836

Q1 2011 113863

Q2 2011 117691

Q3 2011 116610

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  • 8 months later...
  • 3 months later...

University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index Transaction Levels since 1988 (Some gaps exist)

Data Source: University of Ulster, Centre for Research on Property Planning

Graph here

Qtr and Year No. of Transactions

Q3 1988 1858

Q4 1988 1387

Q1 1989 1297

Q2 1989 1313

Q3 1989 1274

Q4 1989 1323

Q1 1990 1467

Q2 1990 1188

Q3 1990 1393

Q4 1990 1512

Q1 1991 1348

Q2 1991 1384

Q3 1991 1194

Q4 1991 1273

Q1 1992 1079

Q2 1992 1172

Q3 1992 1222

Q4 1992 1151

Q1 1993 1595

Q2 1993 1508

Q3 1993 1634

Q4 1993 1668

Q1 1994 1491

Q2 1994 1521

Q3 1994 1534

Q4 1994 1678

Q1 1995 1629

Q2 1995

Q3 1995 1814

Q4 1995 1690

Q1 1996 1715

Q2 1996 1989

Q3 1996 1739

Q4 1996 1625

Q1 1997 1892

Q2 1997 2018

Q3 1997 1979

Q4 1997 1922

Q1 1998 1875

Q2 1998 2185

Q3 1998 1899

Q4 1998 1854

Q1 1999 1662

Q2 1999

Q3 1999 2061

Q4 1999 1773

Q1 2000 1769

Q2 2000 2114

Q3 2000 2040

Q4 2000 1847

Q1 2001 1922

Q2 2001 1922

Q3 2001 1961

Q4 2001 2111

Q1 2002 2202

Q2 2002

Q3 2002

Q4 2002

Q1 2003 2089

Q2 2003 2600

Q3 2003 2575

Q4 2003 2492

Q1 2004 1921

Q2 2004 2551

Q3 2004 2102

Q4 2004 2457

Q1 2005 2037

Q2 2005 2461

Q3 2005 2772

Q4 2005 2503

Q1 2006 2166

Q2 2006 2283

Q3 2006 2291

Q4 2006 2525

Q1 2007 2134

Q2 2007 2120

Q3 2007 1480

Q4 2007 1663

Q1 2008 893

Q2 2008 1044

Q3 2008 670

Q4 2008 704

Q1 2009 692

Q2 2009 950

Q3 2009 716

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

I was looking for the Nationwide data for Northern Ireland and could not find it. So here is a link to the Nationwide website...


Click on 'Regional Quarterly Indices (Post '73)' Then scroll right for Northern Ireland data.

i posted these links (+ methodologies) on this thread in 2008. I still do not fully understand why they were removed - apparently someone objected :blink:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've set them visible again PP -- there were complaints that this thread be purely for links to sites and not reports or comments.

Here's some good charts comparing NI to other UK regions for different criteria:


edit - typo

edit - removed unnecessary rant, apologies to BelfastVI

Edited by p.p.
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  • 1 year later...

I can't believe we forgot to add the Property-Bee tool in here. http://www.property-bee.com/

Remember for the newbies that you'll need to be running Firefox browser at the same time as it is a plugin for that browser only. You can download Firefox here: http://www.mozilla-europe.org/en/firefox/

Happy bee'ing.

Anyone having diffs with the bee on property news. Still have toolbar etc but all histories gone from yesterday?

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  • 2 months later...

Anyone having diffs with the bee on property news. Still have toolbar etc but all histories gone from yesterday?

Don't think it's related but just noticed the loss of changes being displayed in the search results, they are there in the individual entry still but makes finding recent changes at a glance harder. Think they have changed the site a little.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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