Your Move raised a few eyebrows when it reported in its January house price index that values had breached the £300,000 barrier.
The agent’s January HPI recorded prices at £300,169, but then the February data that came out yesterday said prices last month had “risen” to £297,832, which is of course a lower number.
It turns out that the data bods putting together these figures quietly changed their calculations, with an explanation on page 6 of the report. The data now includes a weighting for the type of property transaction, which has pushed previous average prices lower.
It said: “Over the last year the LSL Acadata house price index has been based on a weighting of property type and location given by the number of housing transactions that took place in England & Wales between January 2012 and December 2015, some 3.3m in number.
“This mix of property type and location has been kept constant over the last year to enable a comparison of prices to take place irrespective of the actual volume and type of sales that occurred in any one month.
“This month we have recalculated these weights to reflect the number and types of transactions that took place in England & Wales.
“Overall, the new weights reduce average prices by between £2,400 and £6,400 compared to the old weights, with the more recent observations showing the larger differences.
“One unfortunate consequence of the new weightings is that the average price of a house in England & Wales has once again fallen below the £300,000 threshold, which we reported as having been reached by this index last month.
“The increase in the market share of flats, at the expense of terrace and semi-detached properties, is one of the main changes that has taken place over the last year.”
A spokesman said Your Move was aware of the change and the new calculations would be used in the future.