Monday, Jul 10, 2006

Government survey says high price inflation picking up

BBC: House price inflation picks up

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) - formerly the ODPM - says prices rose by 5.6% in the year to May, up from 5.1%% in April.

Posted by denzil @ 11:10 AM (600 views)
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1. Son Of Taeper said...

It should be noted that the figures from the ODPM refer to data from 2 months ago.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:16PM Report Comment

2. Markd said...

I wonder what element of this rise can be attributed to the effect of the large increase seen in Northern Ireland as against the average for the rest of the country?

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:40PM Report Comment

3. Othello said...

Over a month behind all of the other stats, the DCLG figures are of limited significance. They also report mortgage completions only (thus excluding cash purcases, auctions and all of those transactions likely to show a sharp downturn) and are hardly an accurate picture of the state of the market.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:49PM Report Comment

4. inbreda said...

I think the title and first paragraph of this BBC piece are, at best, highly misleading and at worst a downright lie.

It is an annual comparison, which could mean that a 'bad' month has just dropped off the end of the measure, or relatively speaking a 'good' month has just joined the measure. In actual fact we know that the month after the latest month used by this measure was a very bad one, so in a months time the 'annual rate of inflation' will be lower.

Unfortunately for the independence of the national media, I doubt if we will be reading the headlines 'Annual house price inflation drops by 30%!!'.

Pure bias.

Monday, July 10, 2006 02:05PM Report Comment

5. harold said...

On the day of the last MPC meeting last Thursday we had 'House prices go into reverse' from the BBC ( A number of HPC bloggers commented at the time that this might be a ruse to frighten the MPC off lowering IR and that, more likely than not, it would be quickly followed by a good news story. Well here it is...

It's comforting to know that the BBC believes that the publics memory extends for no more than about 5 minutes. Perhaps it's this belief that accounts for all their repeats and rehashing of old, tired programme formula.

Monday, July 10, 2006 02:30PM Report Comment

6. sebastian said...

Heh, in both articles:

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight, predicted that UK house prices were "likely to settle back into an extended period of relatively modest rises".

We expect house prices to settle back into an extended period of relatively modest rises," said Howard Archer, an economist with Global Insight.

They both give me the impression that they were talking specifically in the context of the article, I bet they asked him that question about 3 years ago and keep throwing the quote out.

It seems crazy that they print one article claiming HPI in reverse and then go to contradict it a week later, does not seem very constructive..

Like Harold said, I think we all expected it. Easy to see through this one though.

Monday, July 10, 2006 03:14PM Report Comment

7. tyrellcorporation said...

This is what I predict will happen for the forseeable future - a concerted campaign of disinformation and contradiction from the VIs. What better way to keep the market benign than to give all parties something to chew on. One minute we get a report that things are falling (keeps a glimmer of hope for the rest of us) and the next that the market is growing (keeps BTLs thinking they are shrewd financial wizards - and maybe eggs them on to add to their portfolios) and then a few reports making out things are broadly stable (For the 'Dead-Men-Walking' in the Public Sector!).

The best possible situation for the VIs is now that things bubble along at the top of the peak - a high yielding plateau. It's prefect for the BoE (no crashing economy), Gordon Brown (high tax reciepts and a feelgood factor), the Mortgage lenders (huge amounts needed to be borrowed) and the EAs (maximum revenue per house sale).

With no discernable market direction the best course of action for the MPC is 'Steady-as-she-goes'...

Monday, July 10, 2006 04:05PM Report Comment

8. devil's advocate said...

Conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy. what a yawn. I don't think there one bit of media that isn't berated on this site for having a VI not matter whether they indicate what you believe is correct or not.

Getting rather tiresome people.

Monday, July 10, 2006 04:58PM Report Comment

9. gruppenfuhrer said...

In the defence of the BBC and speaking as a journalist then I think we should have in mind that these guys are just reporting facts of a DCLG report. If there were to be any more to it than that the report would cease to be a useful objective report and would become opinion which - however well informed - is different from the obligation to just report the facts.
This reporting as distinct from opinion is simplistic and has obvious limitations but does have merits too.
I know this is stating the obvious but I just think we need to appreciate the BBC doesn't necesserily have an agenda and is not insulting readers by reporting in good faith the findings from different VIs.
I agree with Othello, and indeed another BBC article I read recently that certainly was opinion, that the massive proliferation of these reports should not be taken too seriously as changes month by month may buck trends and give a false impression.
I think we should just be mindful that the BBC are not necesserily up to dreadful mind control. They are reporting and giving proportionate weight to reports from VIs who obviously have their own agenda.

Monday, July 10, 2006 05:07PM Report Comment

10. tyrellcorporation said...

Satan's egg drink! Why do you bother looking at the forum at all then if it's all sooooo tiresome?

Monday, July 10, 2006 07:12PM Report Comment

11. inbreda said...

DA - it's not conspiracy conspiracy conspiracy. Gruppenfuhrer is right in that the BBC don't have an agenda - they're just being lazy journalists by printing whatever comes through the fax machine. The VIs DO send a lot of stuff to journalists and always put a positive spin on it. I used to work for a mortgage company that had a team dedicated to this kind of PR. At the time it was generally aimed at getting 'best mortgage lender of the year award' or getting top of the best buy tables, but I can see that the CML or NAEA would take a much broader stance. And let's remember that they have money behind them - if this site started pushing the alternative view point it would be berated for trying to cause suffering to homeowners.

To this extent, there IS quite obviously a conspiracy.

Monday, July 10, 2006 08:02PM Report Comment

12. gruppenfuhrer said...

Inbreda is correct, the whole point of PR, especially when it is from an organisation acting on behalf of an industry, is to manipulate public opinion.
My point, as I think you got Inbreda, was just that it is wrong to think the BBC or indeed any media are in on this.
They are just rewriting and attributing information sent to them. If that's lazy well then, yes journalists are lazy.
Newspapers are more of a law unto themselves - the Express (where I have worked myself (shudder)) is just out to print anything that might shift paper regardless of the implications or the credability of the source.
The BBC is far better but is still just rehashing, without malice or often consideration, the press releases it receives. It is often the case that to suggest a paper or the BBC or any media outlet has an agenda is to credit them with too much time and forethought.
As I have said on this forum before, I think we could do just as good a job of leading news as the CML or any of the other VIs.
Anyone agree? Either that we could do it or that it would be a worthwhile excercise?

Monday, July 10, 2006 09:05PM Report Comment

13. Bidin'matime said...

Herr G - Worthwhile exercise, yes. Could we do it? - unlikely. The VI's have vast, humungous funds behind them, when you add up lenders, agents, government etc. We don't stand a chance. All we can do is let economics take its course.

I thought of a good analogy. The property market is like a pencil standing on a desk, point upwards. If the table is steady, the pencil can be quite big and will continue to stand up, but it remains susceptible to a shock to the table. The longer the pencil, the less a shock is needed to topple it. The pencil is house prices and the table the economy. Sooner of later there will be a shock big enough to bring it down. They can't control everything.

Monday, July 10, 2006 11:02PM Report Comment

14. Indiablue19 said...

In re: leading the news and HPC being a boring/pessimist group......The disappointment would seem to be that legitimate journalists might bother, as they have access to the resources, to find time for more than just regurgitating, but would actually pursue the Truth of the matter. Anyway, can't mere mouthing of someone else's words spewed from the FAX come down to being the pet dog of the latest spinmasters under the guise of putting "news" out to the public? Apart from that, you must agree that many who are annoying to the powers that be appear to live short and unhealthy lives these days and the job of journalists is at once precarious and more important than ever. HPC's lively little group does seem already to get a mention in many fora. Probably because it represents a more intelligent explanation for events than most of the mainstream while challenging a lot of lazy news personnel.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 12:59AM Report Comment

15. Freewheeling Franklin said...

And it's important to separate reportage from comment. The BBC's Economics Editor's last think piece about house prices, and this was some months ago, opined that it would be good for one and all if there was a house price crash.

The fundamental problem is that there are very many players involved in the property sector producing data (and quite probably data that suits them) and very few independent bodies producing more objective reports.

I think it's questionable reporting every set of Halifax and Nationwide figure, but let's wait and see what sort of reportage we get when the tide turns (of course assuming it does - after all house prices can rise for ever, non?)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 01:22AM Report Comment

16. talking rot said...

Admittedly this is a late post, but I am forced to agree with Devil's Advocate. This site is more intellectual and unbiased then many discussing property but there is a marked pattern of response which degrades its quality. News articles reporting rising or maintained house prices are invariably described as Vested Interest propaganda; news articles reporting falling prices are described as reporting the truth.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating! There is no House Price Crash today - it is not happening. No House Price Crash will occur tomorrow either. There are risks to the economy and risks to the absurd cost of house prices but risks MAY OR MAY NOT occur.

If we continue to denigrate facts because they are unpalatable, we are no better the Estate Agents, BTL-ers and other scum-of-society. Let us judge each article on the basis of its facts and the degree to which those facts are supported by intellectually rigourous, logical conclusions. This means if the BBC reports rising house prices, it is probably because some house are rising in value.

Rant over.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 08:58AM Report Comment

17. inbreda said...

TR - Have you read the other posts? If the majority of news items reported is pushed by VIs then it is only balanced to snub many of them. After all, no-one was snubbing these reports when they were obviously true i.e. 4 or 5 years ago when house prices were undoubtedly rising. At that point we were all saying that high house prices were a bad social phenomenon. It is only in more recent times when it has become apparent that the VIs are desperately trying to talk up every piece of info to keep all of their plates spinning that people on this site have started to get annoyed with the excessive and bias spin. The more trouble the housing market is obviously in, the more far fetched the VI positive spin seems and the more we lambast it.

Admittedly, more reports are making the papers that support our point of view, but as has been discussed, they are few and far between because no organisation pays to push those kind of stories. I think Bidin is being too pessimistic. We could do it quite easily. From what I remember of the PR department in the mortgage lender I used to work for they wined and dined the What Mortgage magazine journalists to get the awards, faxed details of all of the new products and pricing to journalists, and put a bit of effort into writing stories and faxing them off to journalists. I don't see that it would be any more complicated for us to get Halifax/Nationwide figures and put an unbias spin on them and fax off an article. You may find newspapers reporting "The CML said yesterday that the housing market was recovering on the back of Halifax data which showed XXXXXXXXXX> The website however put a slightly different interpretation on the figures, pointing out that XXXXX". This would be a very good start.

Gruppenfuhrer .... fancy the job? Webmaster?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:23AM Report Comment

18. devil's advocate said...

The BBC have a responsibility to report on all news stories whether you believe it true or not. A point in question in relation to the conspiracy theories.

Last week the halifax issued that prices were down for June, posts were made that it was deliberate to undermine the MPC decision. What a load of rubbish. I have to admit there are some very intelligent people on this forum but it need people like Talking Rot to add some sanity when it all get too biased.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:55AM Report Comment

19. devil's advocate said...

In answer to inbreda, perhaps a committee should be set up to begin this sort of action. Iassume this website is owned by a company it would be interesting to get an statement from them. A seperate area could be made on the website for people to sign up and offer active support.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:05AM Report Comment

20. harold said...

I guess it's a question of 'bottom-up' (lazy journalist with a fax machine) versus 'top-down' (certain views are allowed to proliferate through editorial design). Certainly the BBC can appear to be a palliative organisation, smoothing out the troubled waters of life. In this regard, their reporting of HPI is probably just an institutional bias, i.e., bottom-up. However, it has been shown statistically that the BEEBs reporting of other, perhaps more controversial areas, for example the Middle East, is subject to systematic bias, which in truth is probably a result of top-down design. It's a complex issue. One thing's for sure however, the BBC is not the worst offender for which, as licence fee payers, we should perhaps be a little thankful (but only a little).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:23AM Report Comment

21. gruppenfuhrer said...

Okay, as I see it then there is some enthusiasm for saying something, anything, trying to get some copy attributed to this website whether it be as a piece of balance in an article or as a news item in its own right. This is like a snowball and could get to a point where we are the main source or obvious source of balance for journalsts. VIsay X but see what pressure group have to say.

What's the firststep? Is anyone in charge here? Webmaster? We need some direction here. can I suggest an on line poll as that is always an easy way to get some coverage. Outcome of poll shows 94 per cent of visitors to Housepricecrash felt a crash was likely or what ever. It is crude but it has to be simple and "on message".

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:35AM Report Comment

22. denzil said...

Talking Rot said:
>>If we continue to denigrate facts because they are unpalatable, we are no better the Estate Agents, BTL-ers and other scum-of-society.

Crikey Rot I tend to agree with you and it does concern me sometimes that conspiracy is jumped upon as being the reason behind a statement. The problem with conspiracy is it cannot ever be proven without facts, facts that in some cases will never be known or in fact ever existed in the first place. In many cases we can prove VI propaganda by analysing the facts and proving them wrong, a skill this blog has done many times over. Personally I'm not really bothered by most conspiracy as I have a brother who is really into that Roswell kind of thing but I found the comments on Walton's death a couple of weeks back just a little far fetched.

On a related issue, I'm a big fan of the American people, I find them amongst the warmest and open of any nationality I have met but one thing that always stands out and is maybe less apparent since 9/11 is their lack of knowledge in politics and world affairs which I believe is in part due to the amount of weak and thoughtless journalism that they are spoon-fed and absorb with little question. My point is and I may be wrong is that the media here in the UK are starting to produce more of this thoughtless lets just regurgitate whatever a PR department sends to us. Maybe journos are under such pressure that they have little time to look at the facts, I really don't know but that's where places like this blog come in to mull over and pick apart the data even data that isn't favourable.

BTW I certainly not trying to preach the type of comments that should appear on here, I have not right to. I just post articles and my own thoughts just like everybody else.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 11:08AM Report Comment

23. sebastian said...

I am a bit confused by some of the responses here. To be honest the majority of posts on this site are reasoned and I would say people rarely jump on the 'spin' bandwagon without putting arguments forward as to why they do not completely accept the reporting in question.

In this case a week ago many of us noted that it seemed like good timing for the Halifax article and that no doubt they would be something to contradict it a week later. Low and behold an article which, to me, is directly aimed at contradicting the Halifax report. And seems to skirt around a few key points (data from may). It certianly could have been a bit more constructive and put more than one angle forward.

Many people were infact not convinced by the Halifax report in itself, which, as we know, reported drops in prices (puts holes in the idea that we only shout 'spin' at articles which report rises).

Also it seems rather hypocritical for some people to just instantly shout rubbish at the idea that this would possibly be a conspiracy of sorts. Obviously we need to be constructive, which I think most of the time this site is. I am with the idea that it is just down to lazy journalism and just reporting what they think the masses want to hear.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 11:14AM Report Comment

24. Ontheotherhand said...

To get the positive news stories this government department can just make up fictional positive statistics today and then just revise them down again quietly in the next couple of months which never gets any news coverage. They have done it before.

Back in October we were told annual house price growth was 2.2% by ODPM. One month later they revised the figures and said 12 month growth to October was actually 1.8%. One month later again they revised the figures again and said it was actually 1.6% AHEM!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 11:28AM Report Comment

25. bidin'matime said...

Well, didn't you know that 94.8% of all statistics are made up on the spur of the moment...

I wrote an article some months ago, based on my theory that stagnation of the market will bring prices down without needing a rise in interest rates, which I sent to a couple of newspapers just to see what reaction I got, if any. Im still waiting.

Trouble is, if we dont associate ourselves with HPC web-site, they dont know who we are from Adam and if we do, they probably think we were just a bunch of nutters with a vested interest in HPC. At the end of the day, most journalists are also homeowners and, like their readers, they dont want to believe that prices will crash.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 01:39PM Report Comment

26. inbreda said...

Thanks gruppenfuhrer.

I'm a qualified statistician and used to work for a high street mortgage lender. I have been responsible for a lot of the figures behing the positive spin. I'm happy to volunteer some time to analyse the stats and give a more balanced interpretation.

Webmaster? Where are you?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 01:43PM Report Comment

27. devil's advocate said...


Does anyone know??

I heard it changed ownership earlier in the year. Is it now owned by a faceless company whose only interest is advertising space?? Ot is it owned by an individual who has an interest in house prices and the economy??

Who knows.

gruppenfuhrer - There is a confidence poll on the forum but only about 8 people vote each month. (may be due to the fact that you need to register to comment)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 03:13PM Report Comment

28. Webmaster said...

devil's advocate, see the About HPC subforum, it's all in there, or About Us on the footer of the pages.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 03:20PM Report Comment

29. devil's advocate said...

Thanks you very much

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 03:45PM Report Comment

30. Gruppenfuhrer said...

Okay, I am starting to suspect that we are just wittering away here and there is little chance that we can actually do anything.
I genuinely think if we get our act together and act as a genuine lobby we can at very least raise a little more awareness of the situation affecting hundreds of thousands of Britons today.
I am a 29-year-old well educated professional with a good income, an Oxbridge BA and my MBA nearly completed. Why the hell am I sat upstairs in my parent's house? Because the house price situation is monumentally out of control and I don't want to live in a rabbit hutch.

What I have learnt just recently is that my "house mates", both nearly retired, take the Daily Mail, for shame they do.
It occurs to me that Middle England is aware of the house price fiasco because of twerps like me who have moved home again to save up a bigger deposit.
The situation affects a huge section of this population and as yet no one is speaking for this body, apart from us, who seem to be talking in circles.
Does anyone else feel we could be doing more? Can we bypass the confines of the blog here and petition, write, do anything in an organised way? I think this website is a great resource and I believe it is quite objective, but does anyone else think we could do anythink more?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:32PM Report Comment

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